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In Memory of Crusty John

In Memory of Crusty John

(what I admired most about John Proski was his outrageous sense of humor and his cheerfulness, and how hospitable and socialble he was)

In memory, in celebration of the life of Crusty, John Proski
That guy who was a friend to all in the Bay here,
Threw a party that went on for several years
Like a king on the hill watching over the neighborhood from the bunker
Hospitable and social,
Welcoming, with time to talk most of the time
Sharing some wacky ideas
Laughing often in the course of his life
Bringing home the FOS
Last one to join the fleet of the great DQ charters
Admired from above
On its own portable ways forever,
And John was my favorite water taxi driver when I first met him
Hauling us over cheaply to parties on Read
Dances at Surge
The best birthday ever was one where my friends got him to
Take me out sailing on the Silver Lining
Over to Maurelle to get Stui and his dog,
Packing on board everyone we could find.
I only knew him in his later years
When he already had so many great stories about the life he’d lived,
Friends from all over coming to see him,
Then falling madly in love and moving out
It was so sweet to travel with him and his lady
When he was all happy
On a voyage to Sontuila
And oh how it pleased him greatly to get
Back on the water with the Sonic
Where you could drag a bent pin and catch a fish, he claimed
Living on an ex troller in his later days
Taking up wharfage collecting, a government job at Minstrel
Wandering around here and there
John Proski enjoyed his time on Earth
Was loved and appreciated by those he knew,
Made proud by the kids that he raised
Of whom he spoke highly in his later days
So we come to say good bye to our good friend Crusty
John Proski, whom we will miss on the coast here a lot,
But sure that he’s finding his way in other worlds,
As cheerful as he ever was in the very early mornings of this one.

Memories of Martin


Memories of Martian

Just last week I was dancing with Martian the fishing guide

It turned out to be the week just before he died

The man who started looking like his prey as he aged

Eyes and teeth getting bigger

Munching away on this fine duck dinner in the restaurant in Heriot Bay

Drinking in the lounge

saying, “this does not quite sound as good to me

as the music that was being played

When I was a young man

But I got to go to the show

Enjoy as much of this as I can before I go”

Standing out in a crowd as the oldest guy up dancing

Song after song, with a big grin on

The way we all keep wishing more of the men around here would do

With beautiful girls for partners

Laughing and grinning all the way

Come to think of it he’s been at almost every one I’ve gone to this winter,

Every time I got up to play,

He’s doing the just same

Always wants to hear my latest poetry

Discuss the ideas behind the words

Or singing out on the smoking deck

“And we won’t give a damn when we drink our rum

With the girls of old Maui”

Martian knew it all, word for word,

Wearing what he refers to as his super bowl rings

Gold that he’s won in derbies

Of his own pro sport

Profession, passion in life

Last fall we were talking

By the parking lot in Heriot Bay

Got splashed by a huge chum jumping right by the beach

and he’s saying

“that fish is so horny he barely knows what he’s doing

just trying to get to the creek as fast as he can”

Splashed by a big one

and it’s “That fish just made my day”

As we go on our separate ways

with his presence in life getting ever more vivid and intense

just before he went

This is Martian, always our friend.

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