Derek was the best man at my parents wedding and one of my father's closest friends. My childhood is peppered with memories of Derek's visits. He would arrive with suitcases filled with treasures - mardi gras necklaces were my favorite and somewhere I still have the delicate, doll sized, painted clay dishes he brought me from Mexico. When Derek was around there were adventures to be had. While ours were usually limited to the backyard, hearing he and dad recount tails of their time in the Rockies and in Jamaica provided endless amusement. With every telling the stories became more daring and dramatic but the important parts I had memorized. I still find myself correcting dad's telling of these times.
Derek was a vital part of my childhood and I will always hold memories of him dear to my heart.
Rick, my thoughts are with you and I'm sending lots of love in your direction.