My Birthdays

Repairman, NOT!

10/25/15, Jones Beach AFSP walk

Slipped Away

Through the Lens #16

This is a poem written by Steve in 1984 that I had never seen until after he passed (or that I can remember seeing; 1984 is a long time ago....). The 2013 photo of us was taken in Ithaca in at a wonderful B&B. We ate our way through the city, a great college town with lots of good food stops. To quote Steve, our spark burned brightly.

I think it is important to post other people's stories about Steve, so his life is not always from my perspective. If you have a favorite story about Steve and/or a favorite photo of you with him, please message me; I would love to share it with others. 

This story is from Cheryl B., a friend of ours from Maui:

"My first memories of Steve go back 18 years. I was a new swimmer at the age of 34. Steve put on a swim clinic for swimmers wanting to learn open water swimming in Maui. I signed up right away wanting to be a better open water swimmer. He was great, very patient and fun. We developed a friendship and he would always call and let me know when he was in town. One year he even stayed at our house.

The following year he brought Jean, the love of his life; he always referred to her as his best friend. I always loved when they came to Maui, we would go to dinner; Steve loved the Greek Bistro in Kihei.

Jean and I would do the 5K run the day before his XTERRA triathlon and Steve always cheered us on. When XTERRA moved to Kapalua from Makena, the 5K runners were able to run a portion of the triathlon run course. I remember finishing the run and I said to Steve; 'Do you know how hard the course is?'; he just laughed and gave me a big hug.

Steve was always my hero. I admired how casual he was before his event; he never seemed stressed or worried. Jean and I would wait for him to come through the finish line, finding out that he usually helped someone out on the course, never worrying about his finish time."

2010, Allegria Hotel, Long Beach

Our spark burned bright

My birthday is in November.  It will be another "first" for me, the first time in 34 years I will not have Steve with me to celebrate. Steve certainly knew how to throw a party for me,  One year in the 1990's he surprised me with tickets to a Seal concert... in Denver.  He also bought the plane tickets and we flew there and back in one day, catching the red-eye back to JFK after the concert.  What a whirlwind!

In 1996, he took me to NYC for dinner and bought front row tickets for the Broadway play "Rent".

 In 1999, he took me to Entraque, Italy to help me find my "roots".   In 2000, he took me to Paris for a few days.  We took the train from Germany where he had held a swim clinic and stayed at a hotel on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées where he bought me a pair of chic French boots and Paris metro socks  that I still have today.  Of course we had to do our "victory" pose at the Arc de Triomphe, visit Notre Dame and go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.  Steve always made sure my birthdays were great adventures.

Even when we celebrated my birthday close to home, Steve always found a way to make it exciting.  In 2009, he took me to South Street Seaport where we had dinner at one of our favorite Italian restaurants, Barbarini's, followed by coffee at our favorite coffee shop, Jack's.  We walked off our meal by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

In 2010, Steve took me to the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach for my favorite pancake breakfast and we took a romantic walk on the boardwalk.

I believe it was in 2013 , Steve chauffeured  me to NYC for an "eat around" on my birthday.  We went to Breads Bakery to pick up my favorite chocolate babka, Blue Bottle Coffee to try out a new coffee shop, stopped at City Bakery for their famous chickpea bulgur burger as an appetizer and finished the day off with dinner at an Italian restaurant recommended by our good friend Andrea V. who is an expert foodie, especially when it comes to Italian eateries in NYC.

If Steve felt he could not take me somewhere or do something extra special around my birthday, he would give me flowers and coupons for trips to Montauk or for romantic dinners at the restaurant of my choice.  Even better, sometimes he would present me a menu from Chez Tarp :-) for a four course meal he would prepare for me.   Steve always made sure to give me very special birthday cards which were such beautiful love letters that I will always treasure. So, for my birthday this year, I will look to heaven and toast my soul mate and celebrate all the wonderful birthdays I did spend with him.  

Cheryl and I

2009 XTERRA 5K


Steve was an electrical engineer and had a great mind for figuring things out.  However, when it came to house stuff, the two of us were usually clueless; in my case anyway.  I suspect with Steve, it was more of a case of no interest in things of such nature, but we both knew how to pick up the phone and call someone with more knowledge than us :-).
As for what Steve is doing in this photo, I have no clue.

Cheryl's perspective