Doug Ames, 1958-2019

Doug Ames, 61, was born on July 8, 1958 and unfortunately passed away on August 12, 2019 following a nearly four-year long battle with cancer. He grew up in Crescent City, California, but was living in Dolan Springs, Arizona.

A 1976 graduate of Del Norte High, he was in Reno, Nevada in March 2016. We were supposed to get together on the morning of the fifth, but he had to cancel.

I wish we could have met for that final time, but…

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Tom Cassidy, 1961-2019

Tom Cassidy was born in Crescent City, California on April 9, 1961 and passed away from congestive heart failure on August 7, 2019 at the age of 58. He leaves behind his wife Michelle, whom he married on June 21, 1986.

We were teammates, both sprinters, running track and field at Del Norte High School, where Tom graduated in 1979. It leaves me very sad knowing that Tommy crossed the finish line ahead of me.

Rest in peace, Tom.

Up in Lights

“When I got here, I seen that marquee out there with my name in lights on it. My name’s never been up in lights before,” he said in his distinctive Southern-drawl, “But I’ll get over it and sing some for ya, which is why you’re all here tonight.” His enthusiasm was authentic, infectious and the gathered audience ate it up.

I couldn’t help but smile at this familiar act and that’s when I knew I’d been lucky to have seen him perform before fame failed.

Playground Idle

There once was a time when they all stopped, wanting to get closer to her magnificence, her beauty, her power. Today, she barely garners a second glance, charm less dazzling, yet with a more subtle type of lovely only to be noticed by those willing to take the time, to slow down, to really look.

As an aged steam engine, she can no longer makes those whistle stops.

My wife looked at me and said, “You weren’t even listening to me!” And I thought, “What an odd way to start a conversation.”