In the following words I will try to tell you the story of the time our grandchildren spent with Alex over three days in Corvallis.  It was actually three years ago during the week  of July 24th, which is Cole’s birthday.  He would be turning 10 during our visit at Camp Pat.
Pat and I had returned from a few foggy days at the beach with the kids and were happy to see the sunshine and…squeels of delight when they saw Alex.  Alex had them promptly put on an old t-shirt and grubby shoes…they were going down to the river to explore!  We did not see them for several hours so Pat and I walked down to the bridge to a happy group discovering bugs, water skeeters, fire flies and making floaters down the river….they were wet and happy!
On the return up the hill we heard some discussion about Alex giving Cole a Mohawk haircut!…..his hair was long for a 9 year old.  They were all excited and good to go but I was hesitant(being granma in charge and needing to bring the kids home in one piece and looking the same!)  After much pleading I said “Yes” and out came the clippers and electric razor!  I figured we could shave his head if it was too bad…..We have a video of the process and it is hilarious…I will send it so you can enjoy the wonderful right of passage Cole experienced with Alex into teenaging. There was much hooting and excitement as Alex carefully and artistically gave Cole the haircut of his life!  I will never forget it!  Thank you Alex for your spirit of adventure that infected us all that day.
But, Alex was not finished with his blessings to us…it was time to decorate the cake for Cole’s 10th birthday.   Alex had a plan: he brought a few beautiful leaves and small branches from the garden to put on top of the cake and he finished  it all off with a little chinese paper parasol.  I t was exsquisite,(sp) creative, one of a kind ,fun and whimsical all at the same time…a real delight and wonderful celebration Alex presented to Cole.  It was received and enjoyed by all.
I am honored with knowing Alex as I remember those special moments of seeing how he lived a full authentic life, true to himself.
Whenever I see a Chinese paper parasol today I think of Alex and those magical moments he spent with Cole, Katherine and Hayden and the many gifts he continues to give and I am grateful.
-Sally Marston

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