Jack Wilson, Frederick Street (HOME PAGE)

    •  Jill Stabenau
    •  Carmen Silva
    •  Jan Houbolt
    •  Mark Freeman
    •  Elizabeth Martin
    •  Suzanne Ecker
    •  Evan Kaltschmidt
    •  Andre Rorsch
    •  Jo-Anne Rosen
    •  Dennis Strong
    •  Lastri Trimiharjo
    •  Rachel Wohl
    •  Amanda Zinn
    •  December 17, 2011
    •  Miscellaneous

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In Jack's Words...

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Fight Poverty (PPMK)


Remembering Jack Wilson

Elizabeth Almen Martin

n 1976 I answered an ad offering a bedroom on Downey Street in Mark Freeman’s apartment, and I think it must have been through Mark that I met Jack. A couple of years later, having left an unsuitable husband, I moved back up to Downey Street; Downey Street always seemed like Home. That was the year that Fine Line Films — Mark, Jack and Claire — was working on the film about the loggers at Mad River, and I rode up to Arcata with Claire for a visit.

One day during that visit we all went rafting on the Trinity River. I had no experience with paddling, but Jack did. He would holler, “Paddle on the left! On the Left!” and I took his word for it that it was time to paddle on the left. It was the most fun I had ever had.

At lunchtime we stopped at a beautiful bend in the river with a big flat sandy area on the inside of the curve, and a steep, heavily wooded slope on the other side. After lunch everyone but Jack and I wandered off somewhere; it was perfectly quiet. Suddenly an enormous noise erupted from the hillside facing us. We jumped up, looking for the source of what sounded like machinegun fire. High on the hillside a tall pine tree was slowly falling through its fellows, breaking off hundreds of branches as it fell. What a strange gift to see and hear the proverbial tree fall in the forest.

That same year was the year that I and many of my friends were rather off men. But Jack was still a familiar of the house, one of the people who would walk in and come calling up the stairs to see who was home. He was a real friend, the person you call at midnight when you really have to talk.

The last time I saw Jack was in the early nineties. I was living then on the central coast and had gone up to San Francisco for a shower for Mark and Alison’s first child. I suppose it was the last time I saw Mark and Claire as well. Jack wasn’t at the party. I ran into him at somewhere else, a neighborhood art reception.

I always thought that I’d see him, and many of you, too, again: the friends of my youth.

Elizabeth Almen Martin
Christmas Eve 2011


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