I met Josh Canning when I was about 3 feet tall; he might have had an inch or so on me back then. We were part of a young, adventurous group of banded families, the Cannings, the Cordero/Fredericks family (a community in themselves!), and me, an only child.
Us kids, boy could we find fun. I couldn’t wait for those weekend BBQ’s, a chance to run wild with my band of brothers. All of us took turns conspiring to come up with a new adventure, one that would usually get us in trouble. But that was the fun part! Josh, he was always smiling, always conspiring and always ready for fun. Josh showed me how to care for pet rabbits, search for ghosts in Crescent City, avoid snakes in the swimming holes at Red Rock, the list goes on and on, and all before we hit puberty.
After college I left my hometown for the Rocky Mountains and lost touch with Josh. Every time I would come for a visit, I always went to those quintessential Santa Barbara local places. Lo and behold, there would be Josh. He would spot me two blocks away and yell my name. Talk about making me feel like I was home! That big wonderful bear hug and exuberant smile was infectious. I always enjoyed hearing about his adventures, accomplishments and how he still conspired and achieved to live a free-spirited lifestyle. His appreciation for life, his family and friends radiated from him.
One of my childhood brothers has fallen, but I’ll have a lifetime of wonderful memories of him, which have made a permanent mark on me. May we all “conspire” to live a free-spirited life!