My heart is heavy right now because a very good friend of ours passed away on May 8, 2020. Steve was one of the Big Guy’s schoolmates, and I first got to know him back in 1986. Since then I’ve gone on many, many fishing trips with the two of them, including outings to the Sonoma coast and one memorable road trip to fish a series of piers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Several years ago when the Big Guy took up bow hunting, he learned how to shoot with a compound bow; but Steve never shot anything but a traditional recurve bow, which he always aimed without the aid of sights.
I also have Steve to thank for finding us one of our most beloved dogs, Gabby. One day in early 1995 he told us about this skinny stray dog that had been hanging around where he worked. She was a pit bull, and she seemed friendly; he and his co-workers had been feeding her scraps, but he was worried what might happen to her. Since he knew that we loved pitties, he suggested we might think about taking her in. We had some serious doubts — but in the end, she became part of our family and was with us for the next 15 years. I like to think that Steve saved that dog’s life.
Steve’s closest friends noticed that he seemed to be going downhill physically over the past couple of years, but he avoided going to the doctor, being one of those guys who has always been generally healthy and prefers to “tough it out.” It was only about a month ago that he finally agreed to get a check-up — only to learn that cancer had already spread throughout his body. It’s hard to say how long he had actually been ill, although looking back, there were certainly clues that not only Steve but the rest of us conveniently ignored.
I know we are all going through some very tough times right now, but please, please — never ignore persistent symptoms like chronic coughing or unexplained weight loss, and don’t put off medical care! You just might save your own life.