Santa Barbara Ralph
I remember clearly the day I met you. After a long journey across the the United States I rolled into your place with my bike still hanging on the bike rack. It was a sign to you that I must not be all that bad of a guy to rent your place and thus began a seven year relationship.
Your friendship and love has meant a lot to Laura and me. We have kept in touch over oceans and continents. You were our ambassador to Santa Barbara and made us feel at home like family. Maggie met you for the first time and she still kisses Jack from your Jack in the Box Christmas present.
Santa Barbara has lost one of its biggest advocates. Shortly after I moved in Ralph you took me on a long bike ride to get me acquainted with my new town. Out to UCSB and along Mountain View Drive. Your enthusiasm and interest in all things great and small was immediately noticeable and contagious. You lent me your “Santa Barbara Day Hikes” book, SB bike route map, and my first copy of the Independence. All I needed to guide me through many enjoyable adventures in Santa Barbara.
Ralph your smile and gentle demeanor is already missed – not just by the people who know you, but by anyone who had the pleasure to be in your presence. I fondly remember the pretty KLM girl on the bus to Schiphol who was engaged in your friendly, humble chit chat. I am sure she left us thinking, now only if all Americans were like that!
We will miss your daily correspondents Ralph. Your emails read like a term paper with a proper introduction, body, and conclusion. Whether it be an update on your world tours, house renovations, or most recently your battle with cancer – we could always count on you for learning something new or to be humored by your play with words we call “Ralphisms”. We will feel the absence of your annual Christmas Newsletter but find warmth in the memories of many happy times we spent with you.
Of course these are just antedates Ralph – moments in the day of a life that I was fortunate enough to be touched by. My life, Laura’s life, and our friends, Sara and Jame’s lives are better and richer because we knew you. We thank you for your kindness, generosity, love, (and being a Democrat)!
Over and out to Santa Barbara Ralph