Friday, June 27, 2014

Images of Summer

Thought everyone might enjoy these two pictures.  My son found them a few months ago when he opened up an old book in his room.  No idea why they had been tucked in between the pages.  As summer is now beginning it felt like the perfect time to share these.  I will also (hopefully) be seeing Deb in about a week and can give the originals back to her.  I hope everyone has a great summer!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So I've been holding on to these writings, ramblings, bo-isms since the early 90s. I think he sent these to me in 1993 or so. Anyways, I wanted to get this scanned and uploaded before the paper finally gave out. I think I'm missing a page or two, so sorry about that.

Oh and Deb-o, heads up, I don't think Chris intended on having you read these at the time, so there might be an inappropriate passage or two.  But seeing that we're 20 years removed, I don't think he'll mind that much. :-)

Love, Jeff

Thursday, January 26, 2012

11 Years

I can't believe it's been 11 years.  When I think that I only really knew him for 12 years, that seems like such an incredibly long time.  But in many ways, it seems like we were hanging out just yesterday.  I can still hear that self-confident, man-with-a-plan tone in his voice...

"Get in the car, Curt"
"Huh?  Where we going?"
"North.  Get in the car."
"Ah, Ok..."

Then 3 hours later we'd be lost in upstate Connecticut, driving around in his dumpy Toyota, him belting out Led Zeppelin while we explored the state...

And I can still vividly remember he and Bill insisting we go out to lunch in January of '99.  I was planning on moving back to San Francisco.  I had a job and an apartment lined up and was planning to leave in a week.  I had met this great girl at the Nut's New Year's Eve party, and though I'd been spending a lot of time with her, I was still planning to move back west.  I was heartbroken at the prospect of leaving her, but I felt my path had been set and it was my responsibility, my obligation, to stay on it.

So moments after I sit down to lunch at the Southport Brewing Company, I realize it was an ambush.  They made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that I would be making the mistake of a lifetime if I went back to San Francisco.  I can still hear Bo telling me "what a complete fool" I would be if I didn't listen to this woman was "the best thing that ever happened to you."  He was getting angry in classic Chris Bowley "I-love-you-but-I-can't-believe-what-an-idiot-you-are" form.

Of course they were right.  I was being an idiot.  But I hadn't known it until he grabbed me by the shoulders and made me realize it.  I often think of that day, for had it not happened, I wouldn't be married to that woman, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet my two beautiful children.

My thanks to you, Bo (and you too, Bill).  I owe a tremendous debt to you both.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hitchhiker's guide.


So great moment in my life happened tonight.

Let me give you a quick little lead in, back story if you will. So as many of you know, Chris Bowley was a dear, dear friend of mine. My brother growing up. There wasn't a day between 4th grade and senior year in high school when Bo and I didn't hang or correspond in one way or another. If for some reason we didn't check in with each other somehow someone checked in for us. We always seemed to know what the other one was doing. As we got older and went off to college, we became semi-disconnected. But we would always come full circle a little ways down the line. When we would meet up it was as nothing had changed, no time had passed. Time went on and our circle of friends grew and his circle was mine and mine was his. It was this great unspoken bond.

But with all of that there were a couple of things we didn't meet eye to eye on. I'll give you some examples... first the band the Cars. I never liked them, Bo... loved them! Still to this day, I can't listen to the Cars without remembering the arguments we had. Videos games. I couldn't sit still long enough to get through a game or in Chris' case then entire game, all levels. We had many a disagreement about what we should do on a nice Saturday afternoon. Play the Indiana Jones game on no die mode (if you turned the Atari on while pushing the cartridge in and out, somehow the game gave you endless lives) or go outside to play wiffle or basketball?
The other thing that we never clicked on was the book, "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy." When Bo read this book it was his bible. He loved it. We talked about it a bunch. He leaned on me to read it. I tried, I couldn't get into it. It was Bo’s humor and much like the video games I couldn't get into it. So I gave him the book back. Years passed and I think we both were in college. The conversation came up late night, actually I think he quoted a phrase from the book and I laughed. He stared at me, with that bo/blueshi look and probably said something to affect, "you know that's from the hitchhiker’s guide, right?" I probably said, "Ha! that dorky space book you tried to make me read?" Well again he gave me the book. It had to be circa 1992-94. Since then, that book has traveled w/ me from location to location. Its pages are yellow/brownish and it smells like it should be in a museum or a library. I tried a couple years back to read it again for Bo. But alas... I couldn't get into. So back on the shelf it went.
So early last week, my son Riley, the high honors student that he is, said that he didn't have a book to read. This in its self is a rare thing. The boy is brilliant and a reading machine. So you probably know where this is going. I gave him the hitchhikers guide last Monday. And every morning this week he has come downstairs to tell me that this is the funniest book he has ever read and he loves it some much. He finished it in 5 days.

Tonight as I tucked my son into bed, I picked up the book to give it a quick look over. And written inside the front cover page was one word in Bo’s handwriting.


Thanks Bo - i love you and miss you, man.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Happy Birthday

Boy I miss that dude. I've said this before, but I'm so disappointed Chris never had a chance to meet our kids. And I'm equally disappointed that my kids never had the chance to meet Chris - They'd a been thicker than thieves. I can just see them... especially now that the kids are getting a bit older....Chris and Ethan conspiring off in some corner to play a trick on mom and dad. I can see him planting that seed of mischievousness, then nurturing it over the years... encouraging the kids to get bolder and more creative, bu always with that pure, innocent, positive sense of humor. Boy, what a great influence he would have been on them.

I miss you, Chris. It's been a long time, but you're still top of mind.

Happy birthday Chris!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Newspaper Articles on Ralph

The following articles ran in the Fairfield Minuteman. Click on each to view a larger image.

The Citizen also ran a nice article. In fact, there's about 18 different articles and letters to the editor there.

Ralph Bowley Obituary

click to enlarge

Friday, April 16, 2010

Goodbye Ralph

We said goodbye to a good man yesterday. A great man. A man from whom we all learned and continue to learn. A man who served his country, his community, his family, and his friends, right to the very end. But beyond his service, there was something else. Shannon was right yesterday when she said, "there's just something about Ralph." Something about his warmth and humility - something that made it impossible not to feel welcomed and comfortable when he was around.

Like most of us, I remember party after party at the Bowleys. I remember Ralph at the grill, Deb in the breezeway, Chris on the piano, Gilly trying to keep her friends away from us (but let's face it, we were irresistible), and Shannon raising a commotion. After he was done on the grill, Ralph would make his way inside and sit, at which point a steady stream of people would rotate through the chair next to him, sharing stories, telling tales, and usually receiving advice (though they may not have recognized it as such at the time). Around 10 or 11, Ralph would decide he was done, and head off to the bedroom. He'd be back in a few minutes - all ready for bed and done up in his jammies. He'd smile, wave, and head off to sleep. Ralph was so welcoming that even when he clearly wanted to go to bed, he didn't want us to leave (...though truthfully, had he asked us, we probably wouldn't have left anyway :-)

Bill made an interesting comment yesterday - even during our goofy teenage years, when all we wanted to do was establish our independence and strike out on our own - even then, Bo was never hesitant to bring everyone to his house to chat up his parents. It was always clear just how proud he was to be their son.

We'll miss you, Ralph.