Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
(Thanks to Bill Lenox, our erstwhile Dungeon Master for this list)
Here’s most of ‘Deathspite‘ our gaming group.
Left to Right Back Row: Doug Wray, Bill Lenox, Kirk Sarell, Martin Beier Front Row: Nick Beier, Janet Thomas, Tony Green
Not shown: Kathy Argenta
Here’s another group shot – we’ve been playing for decades and our roster changes slightly. Left-to-right: Janet Thomas, Doug Wray, Bill Lenox, Marty Beier, Lemuel Smith, Tony Green, Nick Beier and Kathy Argenta.
Tony was very musical – played and wrote music, was a DJ and guitar teacher. Here he is at our friend Marty’s 50th birthday party, belting out his rendition of The Man They Call Jayne from Firefly.
It freakin KILLED. He was in very rare form and it was most memorable.
He really loved the song and did it perfectly.
Opening presents on Christmas – checking for safety before opening?
Always detail-oriented! He and our referee Bill routinely discussed crucial minutiae that success hinged on. Brilliant player.
Also a hilarious role-player. I’ve seen screen performers that didn’t work as hard. I can’t count the hours of sidesplitting laughter at his silliness.
Watching him laying on the couch where we had spent so many happy hours gaming, I realized the game had become real. This time the brave warrior would not be resurrected by miraculous magic or a generous Deity. This was the end of the road.
I sat vigil with him as his Light began to flicker and was witness to his iron will slowly being crushed by the agony of cancer. His children Daniel, Elizabeth, Victoria and Michelle came to him, bade him their farewells and he departed at 3:30 am on Sunday October 9th.
We’ve walked a lot of roads together my friend, wherever you walk now, I hope you are free of pain and care. You are sorely missed.
From Bill Lenox: “I think this was Tony’s favorite picture of himself…well, not exactly Tony, but he modeled for it.” – the illustration, After is by our mutual friend, Todd Lockwood.
From Kathy Argenta:
Monday morning I went to the site where Bradfield Lumber use to be, on the corner of Pearl and Folsom in Boulder which is now a Park. I met Todd and Tony there when I was hired to work in the office in 1976, so many years ago. I sat in the park awhile, texted Todd and told him where I was, and thought about our time together there and the fact that our connection has lasted all these many years, as it has with all of you.
Todd called me one day and asked if I would be interested in playing Dungeons and Dragons which of course he had to explain to me. Even then I had no idea, really, what was in store.
That began many years of the most fun I have ever had with one group of people.
Most important to me at that time was the fact that these sessions offered food for my mind heart and soul.
At the time I was a single parent raising two children ages 8 and 4.
Playing D&D with all of you was my escape and saving grace. I had so much fun and looked forward to each session. We laughed, we argued, we pigged out, we became one as a team against whatever forces were thrown at us and in the short and long run we became family. Each one of you brought your own uniqueness to every game and you were missed when you didn’t show up. Each one of you still bring your own special self and are so dear to me.
Time passes but when we are all together again it’s as if I’ve never left. Tony would have liked it that we all came together and especially that you Todd came to join us. How special is that? And Marty, even though you weren’t there in form I know you were in spirit. As I looked around the table at Janet’s that Saturday it was just a given that you and Nick were there.
I’ve come and gone over the years and no matter how long I was absent I always felt when I returned that I had never left. How special is that?
Tony you will always be with us. “Black bird singing in the dead of night”……………, fly your way home my friend, fly free.
A eulogy from Tony’s friend Marisa:
My Friend, Tony …
I used to tease Tony that he had ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). He would usually agree. But what made him difficult to be around sometimes also made him an original…In retrospect, I think Tony was actually a perfectionist–he liked things done right, he liked things done well, and he didn’t tolerate fools well. Tony was also a pretty private person and didn’t let many people into his inner circle. He could be the life of a party, but it was about the party, not him.
Here are some things he told me about himself over the five years I knew him:
He was born and raised in Kansas and grew up on a farm, loving the fireflies that lit up the summer nights. When he was five years old, he knocked out both front teeth when he slipped on some soap bubbles. During his elementary years, Tony went to Sacred Heart Catholic School. Believe it or not, he was also an altar boy for many years too! His favorite horse was named Topsy and he raised a cow named Babe, who was unfortunately struck by lightning and killed right after winning the regional4H competition. Some of his favorite memories were the summers spent at 4H Camp. He also fondly remembered playing Zarro on horseback with his siblings. His brothers shared how they all owned bb guns and used to pad themselves with their shirts and pants and shoot at each other. They had a “secret pact” that if any of them got killed, they would all kill themselves so no one got the blame. I bet their mom didn’t know about that one! He developed his interest in vampires when he read the book “Dracula” at age 15 and went on to write a full-length vampire novel in 1996 called “Blood of Time”.
Tony had a close call when the draft came. His number was 193 and they stopped drafting at 189. Instead, he went to college at KU and majored in theater. Even though he didn’t get his degree, he always liked the spotlight. He eschewed politics until Daniel came of age to be drafted–he didn’t want that to happen to his only son! Recently he was quite a fan of Bernie Sanders though.
His family moved to California when he was a young adult and Tony got to rub elbows with some of the rich and famous there. He was fond of telling how he used to jam with Mama Cass’s brother. In the 70s, he came through Colorado several times on road trips, fell in love with Boulder, and finally decided to move here. Some of the jobs he held during his adult life were editing, doing handyman work, and he even had a short-lived stint on the radio with a handyman call-in show. He had a great gift of gab and a keen sense of humor that kept us entertained and amused much of the time. And who could forget his spot-on imitations of Bob Dylan singing?
Obviously the love of his life was music. I wouldn’t even venture to guess how many albums he owned! He learned to play the guitar in his teens and in his early 20s he belonged to the band “Midnight Sun”, where he wrote and recorded several original compositions. His last public stage performance was an impromptu session when we went to Jake’s Roadhouse to support our friend Jay’s group this past summer and I badgered him to get up onstage to sing a song. He reluctantly complied and a half hour and SEVERAL songs later, just as reluctantly returned to his seat!
You may not know he was a DJ in Boulder for several years, under the name Brian Summers. I met him in the Not Ready For Primetime guitar group in January 2012. After the first time he came to my house for a meetup, he messaged me later to ask if I had found his favorite yellow pick. At the time I suspected he was trying to “pick” me up, but I looked anyway and couldn’t find it. I later found out he actually was particular about his picks and it was his favorite! He also told me he had met all of his serious relationship in bars, so I didn’t have to worry. Whew!
Tony became known in the music group for his general dislike of CCR-Creedence Clearwater Revival. It wasn’t that he disliked the music, but he had gotten to hear it played too much one summer and never got over it. Sometimes people would specifically request a CCR song just to get him going! As much as he “hated” CCR, he had a love affair with the Beatles that never waned and he could rattle off minutiae about each and every song they recorded effortlessly. His two favorite Beatles songs were “Day in the Life” and “Michelle” (after which he named his oldest daughter). It was all too fitting that Tony left us on John Lennon’s birthday–his hero probably wanted to jam …. He and I went to see the Fab Four in concert downtown last Spring and when we got there, found there was gum on one of our seats. He talked to an usher and got us moved from the 24th row to the 4th! Afterward we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where he had never been before, and he spent almost two hours walking around to look (and comment) on all of the memorabilia.
He was also a big Who/Pete Townsend fan. But he often said his favorite song of all time was “Story in Your Eyes” by the Moody Blues. He even had a favorite chord (Am) and he loved the major 7th chords, which was why his final (and favorite) composition, “Sunfall”, was all done in all maj7 chords.
Although he always loved to teach new things in the meetup group, Tony became my “official” guitar teacher in the Spring of 2015 when I would go over for weekly lessons. He loved to push my learning and was willing to put up with many a clunker as I struggled to master barred chords. He would purposely pick songs that I liked and then write them out in an impossibly hard key to play just to watch me squirm. I usually stopped at his house before I continued to my salsa dancing for the evening and he used to say I was the most overdressed student he had ever taught. I figured if you can’t sound good, you may as well look good!
Tony had many other interests too. He collected perpetual calendars, he was an avid Broncos fan, and he played with a Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying group for decades. He was a rabid collector of family history and genealogy, and felt one of his greatest achievements was getting his parents and grandparents finally buried in the same place. He also collected wooden coins and artichokes. A born storyteller, he could tell you tales behind every knick-knack in his apartment (and there were many!). And I personally never saw anyone so enamoured by words–crossword puzzles, poetry, songs, stories. He loved finding just the “write” word to express himself. His tv was often on some “how it’s made/done” show or Jeopardy. He was a knowledge HOUND. He also was fond of carousels–who knew? And although he didn’t go in much for athletics, he liked to swim.
However, above all else, Tony’s greatest love was his family. I can’t tell you how many times he talked about his kids. He used to call them his “heart” and said without them, life would have no meaning. His apartment was filled with their pictures, their gifts, their accomplishments. He even wrote stories for them when they were younger. He spent a lot of time driving them to school or work or taking them out to eat. He was so proud of all of their achievements and most of all, their individuality. I remember him telling me how smart and good looking they all were–a father’s pride and joy! He always kept his phone nearby in case one of them needed something and was calling him. With Elizabeth, he shared his love of classic rock music. He was thrilled when Michelle got to follow her dream and be part of the Disney cast of”Frozen”, even if it was in faraway California. He often said Victoria was the most like him and he was pleased when she went off to college this year to study drama like he had. And Daniel allowed him to relive some of his own youth. I remember him telling me about how powerful his birth was to him and how proud he was when Daniel got his photo in the Broomfield newspaper and his Eagle Scout designation. And although we never talked about what had happened in his marriage, he told me several times he still loved Laura and I think he hoped for a reconciliation someday. One memory he shared was of an unusual lilac bush that they got on one of their anniversaries that actually bloomed twice a year. He greatly appreciated how she helped him in the months after his cancer was diagnosed, as he had to depend heavily on her to get him to and from the doctors and hospital.
One of his food loves was soft-shell crab and I think in some ways it described his personality as well–crabby on the outside but soft inside. Once he told me about an elderly neighbor who he helped with trash weekly and did handyman work for free and I asked why he often put on the curmudgeon mask so people thought he was so rough and gnarly. He said it was his I ittle secret–he didn’t want people to know he was actually a nice guy. But with all the sweets he liked to eat, they couldn’t help influence his personality, and like the conversation hearts he so enjoyed, he really did have a good heart. He gave me guitar lessons free when I was on sabbatical from my job and couldn’t afford to pay for them. He did many handyman jobs around my house and charged me half of what a regular repairman would. When I look around my house, his handiwork is everywhere–from the compost pallets we scrounged one cold winter night to my rain barrels to my bathroom fixtures to my dance mirror to my greenhouse glass to my walls and outlets. When I went through a rough patch in my own life, he let me come over and play music or go out to eat or watch some “must see” movie whenever I wanted just so I had some company. And what a movie buff he was! We watched everything from Doctor Strangelove to the Sherlock series to Cat Ballou. Quite a mix! Tony once confided his favorite musical was (much to my surprise) “My Fair Lady”. What a romantic softie!
In short, although he had his flaws and never seemed to have a dime to his name, Tony was a good guy who tried to do the best he knew how. He battled his cancer with tenacity and grace, always with an eye to the legacy he was leaving his kids on how to deal with adversity. I really thought he would beat the odds and overcome this horrible disease due to his sheer orneriness, but I admire how he handled the toughest challenge of his life. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I will miss his music at the meetups and I will miss him as the good friend he was, but I know his song will live on in my heart and in all of yours as well. When he came up to my mountain place to work on some plumbing, he signed my guest book with, “I’ll be back!” I’m holding him to that!
From Lemuel Smith:
I am at the library (which is a ways from home to be sure) but wanted to have a chance to speak to Tony’s passing.
When Tony and I talked I told him that for all the places I had been since I left Denver nowhere had I done anything I have enjoyed as much nor met people who have meant more to me than you guys. I know very well that my contact has been sporadic at best but that has taken nothing away from the depth of the feeling I have for all of you. And sporadic as it may be it is more contact than I have kept up with almost anyone from any of the places I have been since.
I will miss knowing Tony is there in Denver but in truth I miss all of you as well. All those Saturdays from before noon until the wee hours. How I looked forward with eager anticipation to playing with all of you each and every session.
You are often in my thoughts and always in my heart. I only wish I had gotten to know Marty and Nick better.
Joshua and Sherri Zander, of Fort Collins, stepped into the presence of Jesus on Sunday, August 21st in a motorcycle accident on Highway 34 coming home from a sunshine bright, Sunday ride to Estes Park. They were both 55 years old. Joshua was preceded in death by his father, Warren Zander, his mother, Joanne Zander, his brother Michael Zander. He is survived by his sister Mardie (Jay), sister Kris, brother David (Trish), sister Lisa and brother Carl (Chris). Sherri was preceded in death by her brother Jeff Thicksten and brother Mark Thicksten. Sherri is survived by her mother Nancy (Charlie), father Darrell (Deb), sister Tammi (Doug), sister Niqie (Kevin), sister Darlene, and sister Tammy. They both are preceded in death by their son Tyler. They both are survived by four children: Jeremy (Jen), Charlie (Jamie), Katie (Kevin) and Colby (Ruben). They are also survived by six grandchildren affectionately called “grandcuties”: Jackson, Avery, Logan, Braxton, Mason, and Lilly. Joshua was born in Chicago, Illinois, September 8, 1960. Sherri was born in Whiteside County, Illinois, October 28, 1960. Both families moved to Fort Collins when Joshua and Sherri were young. They met at Blevins Junior High in Fort Collins. Both graduated from Rocky Mountain High School in 1978. They began dating shortly after high school graduation, fell in love and married September 27, 1980. Josh worked for Larimer County as a Facilities Manager for ten years. He then became the Facilities Manager at Timberline Church where he served faithfully for six years, seeing the church through a relocation to Timberline Road. In 2004 he took a job at Platte River Power Authority in Site Facilities, became a Plant Operator and then a Laboratory Technician. Sherri launched and managed the coffee shop at Timberline Church, worked for Axa Advisors as an Administrative Assistant, then went back to work at Timberline Church as an Administrative Assistant and was quickly promoted to Office Manager. They had five children, each one loved for who they were. Those children were their whole world. On May 11, 2001 their son Tyler passed from this life as a result of neurofibromatosis. Josh and Sherri modeled what faith and strength looked like while living day to day through difficult times. In any conversation with Josh and Sherri, it was clear that family and faith were everything to them. They loved each other with an almost magical kind of love. They did almost everything together. They were filled to the brim with happiness when they were with their kids and their grandchildren. You could see the joy in their eyes and hear it in their laughter. These were parents who were delighted and energized by their strong family bond. Josh and Sherri had hearts that held plenty of room for loving and caring for their friends too. So many friends . . . so many stories shared of them showing up to help a friend in need. Woodworking projects, party planning, recipe sharing, thoughtful, handwritten notes. Both freely offering hands on help and words of consolation and encouragement, bringing light and hope to those going through rough times. It was easy to have fun with them too. A party at their place was quite an event. Everything a guest might need was thought about and planned for. Everything was just right, when they threw a party. Laughter and love shared in abundance, made being with them a time that would be remembered. Josh loved woodworking and cigars, Sherri loved crafting and decorating – especially for the holidays. They both had the wonderful gift of hospitality. They had a way of making everyone they met feel special. And they both loved to ride their motorcycle together every chance they could. They loved God, their family and their friends. They cared deeply about their work and those they worked with. They were dedicated and honorable people. The kind of people this world could use more of. We loved them. Our hearts are broken because they are gone from us for now . . . but we will see them again, and all will be right and whole once more. For that assurance, we give thanks to our God. Please visit Josh & Sherri’s online memorial tribute at www.allnutt.com.
Published in The Coloradoan from Aug. 27 to Aug. 31, 2016
This a selection of images – some mine, others from Tammi’s personal photos. I knew Josh and Sherry for roughly six years and knew they were incredible people. Sherry was a wonderful sister to Tammi and Josh was the perfect brother in law. I know they’re riding down the highway together still, just in a better place.
Smooth riding kids, see you at the big truck stop in the sky.
On this seventh anniversary of Marilyn’s death I reflected on how our pets become bridges to the past.
When I met Marilyn she simply hated cats. So my dear cat Fran had to be rehomed to Albuquerque with my first wife. It was years later and an answered prayer when Marilyn finally decided she wanted cats in our home.
No dogs. But cats were now ok. It was a quantum leap in our relationship and her spiritual life.
After her death Kink helped keep my heart alive and then Tammi joined me. With Tammi came dogs (Kona and Sugar and eventually Dozer) and one of our cats simply couldn’t adapt (Chloe) and was rehomed. Kink hung in there and now is on a equals basis with the dogs. She’s also bonded to Tammi and there are now nights when my bed is filled with my lovely wife, my cat AND my dogs.
Blessings come wrapped in tragedies. I thank God for my blessings and give honor to those gone beyond who await me now.
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Western stagecoach companies were big business in the latter half of the 19th century. In addition to passengers and freight, stages hauled gold and silver bullion as well as mining company payrolls.
Stage robbery was a constant danger and bandits employed many strategies to ambush a stagecoach. Thieves rarely met with much resistance from stage drivers, since they had passenger safety foremost in mind. The gang was usually after the Wells Fargo money box with its valuable contents. Passengers were seldom hurt, but they were certainly relieved of their cash, watches and jewelry. Before the completion of the transcontinental railroad over Donner Pass in 1868, the only transportation through the Sierra was by stage. Rugged teamsters held rein over six wild-eyed horses as they tore along the precipitous mountain trails. The stagecoaches were driven by skilled and fearless men who pushed themselves and their spirited horses to the limit.
One of the most famous drivers was Charles Darkey Parkhurst, who had come west from New England in 1852 seeking his fortune in the Gold Rush. He spent 15 years running stages, sometimes partnering with Hank Monk, the celebrated driver from Carson City. Over the years, Pankhurst’s reputation as an expert whip grew.
From 20 feet away he could slice open the end of an envelope or cut a cigar out of a man’s mouth. Parkhurst smoked cigars, chewed wads of tobacco, drank with the best of them, and exuded supreme confidence behind the reins. His judgment was sound and pleasant manners won him many friends.
One afternoon as Charley drove down from Carson Pass the lead horses veered off the road and a wrenching jolt threw him from the rig. He hung on to the reins as the horses dragged him along on his stomach. Amazingly, Parkhurst managed to steer the frightened horses back onto the road and save all his grateful passengers.
During the 1850s, bands of surly highwaymen stalked the roads. These outlaws would level their shotguns at stage drivers and shout, “Throw down the gold box!” Charley Parkhurst had no patience for the crooks despite their demands and threatening gestures.
The most notorious road agent was nicknamed “Sugarfoot.” When he and his gang accosted Charley’s stage, it was the last robbery the thief ever attempted.
Charley cracked his whip defiantly, and when his horses bolted, he turned around and fired his revolver at the crooks. Sugarfoot was later found dead with a fatal bullet wound in his stomach.
In appreciation of his bravery, Wells Fargo presented Parkhurst with a large watch and chain made of solid gold. In 1865, Parkhurst grew tired of the demanding job of driving and he opened his own stage station. He later sold the business and retired to a ranch near Soquel, Calif. The years slipped by and Charley died on Dec. 29, 1879, at the age of 67.
A few days later, the Sacramento Daily Bee published his obituary. It read;
“On Sunday last, there died a person known as Charley Parkhurst, aged 67, who was well-known to old residents as a stage driver. He was in early days accounted one of the most expert manipulators of the reins who ever sat on the box of a coach. It was discovered when friendly hands were preparing him for his final rest, that Charley Parkhurst was unmistakably a well-developed woman!”
Once it was discovered that Charley was a woman, there were plenty of people to say they had always thought he wasn’t like other men. Even though he wore leather gloves summer and winter, many noticed that his hands were small and smooth. He slept in the stables with his beloved horses and was never known to have had a girlfriend.
Charley never volunteered clues to her past. Loose fitting clothing hid her femininity and after a horse kicked her, an eye patch over one eye helped conceal her face. She weighed 175 pounds, could handle herself in a fistfight and drank whiskey like one of the boys.
It turns out that Charley’s real name was Charlotte Parkhurst. Abandoned as a child, she was raised in a New Hampshire orphanage unloved and surrounded by poverty. Charlotte ran away when she was 15 years old and soon discovered that life in the working world was easier for men. So she decided to masquerade as one for the rest of her life.
The rest is history.
Well, almost. There is one last thing. On November 3, 1868, Charlotte Parkhurst cast her vote in the national election, dressed as a man. She became the first woman to vote in the United States, 52 years before Congress passed the 19th amendment giving American women the right to vote!