saxikath: (Default)
Mrs. Avery is dead.

How can Mrs. Avery be dead? She's -- she was -- one of those people that you just somehow think will always be there.

Mrs. Avery (I could never call her Sally. She was nearly my maternal grandmother's age, and I met her when I was about 5, so she's always been Mrs. Avery) was some flavor of cousin to my grandmother, I forget exactly what. She and her husband John lived (and he still does) in Boulder, Colorado, long before my family moved there when I was 5. From the time we first arrived, they were part of our lives. Every Thanksgiving from then till I left for college, I spent at the Averys'. And Christmas Eve at their open house. And any number of other afternoons and evenings spent visiting their sheep and horses, or romping around their land, or sitting and listening to the stories. She was -- and I don't think I ever consciously thought of her this way, but as I sit here typing it seems right -- almost like another grandmother, or at least a great-aunt. She and Dr. Avery (her husband -- I have trouble thinking of them separately) lived closer than any of my real grandparents, and while they were never exactly my confidantes, I loved visiting them.

Thank goodness, all four of their children got there in time (one all the way from China) to say goodbye.

How can she be gone?
saxikath: (Default)
Gene Amole, in so many ways the voice of Denver, died yesterday.

He was the voice of KVOD radio, the classical music station, when I was growing up. He also wrote a column for the Rocky Mountain News. He was, in many ways, sort of the Herb Caen of Denver. He loved the city, and he loved what he did.

I remember him mostly from the radio. My parents always had KVOD on, and as I would be getting ready to go to school in the mornings, it was Gene Amole's voice I heard, introducing songs, reading commercials, and so on.

I didn't know he was dying -- being in a different state will distance you from things -- but all of Denver did. Last November, he announced in his column that he was dying, and didn't know how long he had. From then on, he chronicled his own last days. (You can read his diary on the Rocky Mountain News website.)

Godspeed, Gene Amole. Denver won't be the same without you.

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