I met Mr Chichester (that is what i referred to him then and it stuck) nearly 30 years ago. he will remain Mr Chichester to me with the deepest regard, no disrespect to other equally respectable titles. I enrolled in his US history class at College of Alameda, for no particular reason, a few shiftless years after a stint in the US Navy. Having little idea of college i expected something like my high school experience. Rarely have i been so happily wrong. Mr Chichester, by no knowledge on his part, was the agent of that disabuse.
Mr Chichester's US History class was challenge to me. It was not just my first real exposure to how history unfolds (the push and pull of people, events by sometimes slim margins), but also a revelation that this college thing was worth pursuing.
Some years later he wrote me a beaming letter of recommendation to transfer to a 4 year university, where i went on to double major in biology and philosophy. I pursued such a mouthful, in part, because i did not fully disbelieve his beaming recommendation. I am still humbly grateful that he thought i was even half as capable as that letter stated.
I never got a chance to properly thank him for the push. More, i would have loved to spend hours conversing, probably to his amusement to exasperation, on a number of topics. i am sorry that, as unlikely as this possiblity was, it no longer exists.
I am glad to have glanced his presence from time to time, and more than he may know, devoted a collection of thoughts to him. My life course would have been different were it not for that uncontainable young man from Georgia.
My heartfelt condolences to all those that shared in his presence, most of all his lovely wife Sara and his children.
Thank You Mr Chichester.