Dear Carpenters, all,
There is no one I love and admire above Steve. We have a tacit, obvious assumption that we are lifelong friends.
And indeed, life is long. I don't think I'll ever see the end of Steve's vitality and perceptivity. Following the passing of another brother, 34 months ago today, I resolved to adopt a more realistic view of folks I
love. It shifts emphasis, credence, from vulnerable human traits, moods, and personalities, to long-term (perhaps eternal) attributes of bodyless individuality and identity.
Steve makes it so easy to apply
this outlook; how else could he and I be such timeless friends? We, mutual antitheses.
Steve the thinker, Gordon the jock;
Steve the lovestruck poet, Gordon the fickle floater;
Steve the lightweight, Gordon the fire hydrant;
Steve the sensitive, Gordon the Roob.
His pure goodness and vast intellect are so rare, and make it still easier to maintain the lasting, clear image of
this great individual. The apparent cleavage of time and space he and I have experienced the past 21 months since our hike through the Colorado mountains has no effect on this impression. He has influenced me in ways
too numerous to mention, and continues as he hikes onward.
For me, Steve epitomizes friendship. He is the Fanatic Friend, who will talk with me until five in the morning without blinking. He'll change his
plans so we can get together; answer the phone in the middle of the night with a joke; quietly help probe personal troubles; play standup-man for hours of bad humor. He loves his dog like nobody loves a dog.
Some vignettes suggest themselves...
Steve opens a mass meeting of 600 classmates with, "A poet once wrote...;" the poem was strangely relevant to the mundane theme of the meeting -- Steve had
the groaning grin on his secretly pleased face as he is presented with a new monogram during his stint as class treasurer ($Gó)[Stephen Guy Carpenter]...
his prodigious consumption of homemade ice cream...
his justified pride in his top-story room, tailored to his own needs...
wild embraces with Herman The Dog...
his year-long unrequited anguish over an
untouchable upperclass female...
his elfin, expressive beard, and clear, bright eyes...
The moments these phrases retell are transitory expressions, I think, of a fraction of what Stephen Guy Carpenter
really is, regardless of his experience in Ireland. Steve is a beautiful idea that I carry with me always.
How glad I am that our friendship challenged time and space -- now it takes on "body" in
a tough test. I'm sticking with the Carpenters; with love, friendship, and compassion.
/// Gordon ///