Monday, May 30, 2011

May flowers. . . .

JHA: Thinking of you and missing you. The days remain hectic but nary a one passes absent some reminder of your influence. The world is so much better because of you and the influence you had on so many. Stryker

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring time

JHA: For some reason, sitting here in Minneapolis after new snow last night, daylight saving time beginning just past midnite tonite, pictures of the devastation in Japan following the tsunami, and signing a pile of papers to send to a law office in Los Angeles to cooperate in a re-financing you might shake your head about, I was thinking I might open either a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or a nice California red. . . all of which made me think of you, Jacqui and sitting in the kitchen with NPR blaring at Ross Street and two pups using a well-worn rug in front of the gas range as their "slip 'n slide". Had dinner with Phil and Andrea a month ago; we toasted you and spoke of you and Miss Jacqui. We miss you very much John. Seldom does a day pass that there isn't some small reminder of you and what you brought to all of us. I hope to see the Ross Street garden in the next month, but I remain defiant in my boycott of foreign films and silent films Jacqui wishes to introduce to me. Love ya mon, swjr

Thursday, November 25, 2010


John: I hope you are sitting down. . . the Giants won the pennant and then the World Series. What a wacky year you missed. Despite what I said in earlier posts, the Giants are great and the 49'er suck. Go figure. I completely missed my call on each. Luv you mon, swjr

Thanksgiving 2010

John: We continue to remember you and the way in which you touched our lives--legions of us whom you recruited and mentored in the business world as well as those of us whom you embraced as friends. You challenged us and you complimented us. Your steady hand is sorely missed as is your sense of humor. When I gave thanks today, I gave thanks for the indelible imprint you left. We miss you so much, Stryker

Sunday, September 5, 2010

John: While we all continue to satisfy daily responsibilities, it is impossible to ignore your absence. Bryce has just reminded all of us to reflect on your birthday--and to do so in a fashion consistent with your preferences and behaviors. I did not wait until your September birthday. You taught me how to live years ago, so much of the behaviours have become involuntary reflexes.

The seasons change, we grow older and hopefully wiser, and we count our blessings. A week does not pass without my seeing something that reminds me of you. You have left an indelible print on so many.

I trust you spend your afternoons in meanignful discussions with Janet and Kit. I have attempted to be a frequent visitor to Ross Street where I can ply my gardening prowess, but I have rather been infrequent.

The Oakland A's are awful, the Giants ambivalent about first place, but the expectations sky-high for your 49'ers. Since last there with you, I have not returned to Ft. Ross to dive for abalone. We toasted you at Harlan Mathews' games dinner two weeks ago. Governor McWhorter was effusive in his comments about "Dr. John". Phil, Pete, Harry Lee, Harlan and I all shared a toast to our dear friend, "Dr. John".

Most importantly, please know Jacqui has been remarkably strong and focused. How she misses you. You were always so proud of her; she has outdone you this time.

John, we miss you so much, Stryker

Thursday, September 2, 2010

From Bryce, on your birthday

Hope everyone will raise a glass of good wine today, or possibly repair a broken pipe, change a flat tire, read a good book, drink a strong cup of coffee, pet a friendly dog, work hard at the office, weed a while in the garden, take a brief nap, tell a clever joke, and cook a fine meal with someone you love before a bowl of ice cream and falling asleep in front of a movie.

Happy Birthday, Uncle John.  I miss you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Always With Me

I am finally calm enough to write something for/about John. It has taken me over a week - after reading about the accident involving John and his friend last May, 4 months ago. I came upon the news purely by chance while browsing the web. I was in utter shock as I read the details...and shaken to the core for many days.

I was a patient of John Austin’s, while a teenager in the early 70’s. He was a young resident at Highland Hospital. To put it plainly, and to spare the details, I will say that through his brilliance as a physican, he saved my life. While in the hospital, he was as much my doctor as a very special person and friend. It was a critical time in my life.

I moved away from CA, and we corresponded occasionally, writing letters, for several years. Over parents and a portion of my family that lived in to know him a bit, and share the fondness I had for him. He had a very big heart, as everyone on this site has acknowledged. I never knew him in later life, except one visit when I went to CA in the mid-70’s. I didn’t know of all his interests, his personal or professional life, but none of it surprises me. It is how I would have imagined him to be. He was inspirational at a difficult time in my life, and through his friendship and genius as a doctor, and kindness as a person, I continued on with my life...never forgetting him...

The twinkle in his eye and smile, that so many have mentioned, were the first thing I noticed about him - and I believe it was his love of Life. All life, all good things. I have always had him in my heart and mind, and always will. I always hoped I would see him again.

Interestingly, the day I read about this, my husband and I got involved with an organization here in Boston that helps house (out of state) families when sick members are in town for special medical treatments in our great hospitals. I like to think about John in this new & special connection. I won’t say goodbye (to him), because he never left me. But I do send my deepest condolences to his family and friends that had him in their lives. I cried for all of us...but also know of the gifts he left us with.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

John: Happy, happy 65th!

Paul McCartney composed John’s rhetorical question; we all watched Jacqui say, “Yes!” to each question posed:

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three

Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

Doing the garden,

digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me,
will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

John, we loved you at 64, and we love you more and miss you so very much at 65. . . as September 1st came and went, from far and wide we toasted your birthday. You live in our hearts, and the memories of the times we shared together fill our souls.

Godspeed Johnnie, Godspeed.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Two months. . . and I cannot accept you are not in our midst.

John: It has been two months and the memories have grown more vivid. I suspect you’d have criticized several individuals for celebrations in Oakland—rather Claremont—and then Boulder, UT that provided the opportunity to reminisce about “Johnnie”, Dr. Austin, John, Dr. John, Uncle John, our “big brother”, our best friend, “my little brother” and the guy everyone had on speed dial. . . more reliable than “9-1-1”, more capable than any help-desk, any on-call mechanic, any typical uncle who’d have a nephew and his wife delivering their first child—a daughter. . . one-of-a-kind.

Well, we knew you were with us as we doted on you, talked about your remarkable intellect, your unparalleled creativity, your patience, your remarkable encouragement, your innate ability to find things in us we never knew we had, your devotion to Jacqui, your ability to convince others to suffer through those inexplicable foreign films, your love of your “Sweetie”, . . . and you never expected anything in return. You found your reward in sharing time with individuals you knew needed you or were simply, “interesting”. John, you gave so much, and now many of us are realizing there was never sufficient opportunity to express our gratitude. If you’d been there, you’d have been impressed by how smart I was at the Claremont Country Club after my sixth glass of Newton unfiltered Chardonnay in discussing your idiosyncrasies, your foibles. . . and I see you leaning back and asking, “So Warren, what have you learned, what piece of evidence can you offer to convince me you have been awakened?”

Well, “Johnnie” . . . Dr. John. . . two things: Jacqui always impressed me as “quietly tough” but I must share with you that while she will always love you and will never fill the hole you left, she is focused, organized and very smart and tough. That lady had always impressed me; this experience has taken it to a new level. Secondly, between Jim, Bryce and me, we realized it’s OK to say we love another guy. . . that being said, I think Cousin Gerry would weigh in and say that he loves you and always has, and—remarkably—Sid cried in Boulder when describing his experiences with you. . . he also stimulated some sustained laughter too. It was terrific to hear Jim, Ed, Justin, Bobby, Tim, Larry, and Alan extol your virtues. . . Alan talked about “doubles” coming at you and going away from you in Scotland. A pair of doubles. . . again, unbelievable what you could always do with an “Aw shucks!” attitude.

John I wandered through the house on the ranch. . . alfalfa panorama for a front yard. . . whether on roof deck, in the tub, or on the back patio, the slick rock back drop as the back yard is simply spectacular. . . what a dichotomy. The floor plan is spectacular, the land so special. This may be the first “new item” you have ever financed or purchased since I have known you. . . I hope to have pizza with Miss Jacqui, your “Sweetie”, in the kitchen prior to heading down to the barn to do chores. . . .

How we miss you John. . . the annual “Quail dinner” will be hosted by Senator Mathews in Nashville August 6; the theme, the focus, the preoccupation given the participants including your friends Gov. McWhorter, Gov. Bredesen, and the Senator. . . to mention nothing of Mr. Pete, Harry Lee and the entourage. . . is about you. Everyone’s friend. I thought I’d not make it because of a Board meeting, but all-of-a-sudden being with friends and extolling your virtues has taken on a new importance.

John, on August 6th we will make fun of you, tell stories, and reminisce. . . then Phil will likely insist we stop and simply say none of us has ever, ever enjoyed a richer friendship.

John, I miss you, I think about you often, I will do anything Jacqui asks, I will tell Eva about you, I will continue to live my life knowing you made me better and I never had a chance to repay you.

How I miss you,


Stryker Warren jr.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To John:

I first met John as a client of my consulting practice back in 2006. It was very clear that there was a lot to John - I guess I would call him complex (in a good way). He was clearly passionate about his company and its success but also very caring about the people that worked with him. There were many dimensions to him and I can think of many of his traits that were sometimes at odds with one another. He was smart, focused, energetic, stubborn, caring, funny, compassionate, loyal, direct, independent, loving, supportive, hard, soft and many other things all at the same time. Just a fantastic mix of things to make a special individual. Despite starting off as a purely business relationship, I am happy that our business relationship also grew into a friendship. I always found him to be true gentleman (in the "old school" sense - the world really needs more of those) and I enjoyed the time we spent together.

John gave of himself freely and openly to me and, it is clear from the comments on this page, to many other people. What I personally enjoyed most were both his keen intellect combined with his sparkling sense of humor. When I visualize him it is always with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He had a zest for life that was infectious and something we should all try to emulate.

I was also struck by how deeply he cared for the people in his life. So many of the people he worked with have been with him for years and despite the frustrations that come with any long term relationship, the underlying mutual affection and caring was crystal clear. However, nothing was more clear than how deeply he cared for Jacqui and the special relationship they have. It was obvious that she was the cause of the great twinkle in his eye.

I'll miss him and the world is a poorer place without him in it.

I'd like to share the following poem that I've found, which I think expresses my sentiments very well.

In Celebration of a Life

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.

And for a brief moment
Its glory and beauty belong to our world.

But then it flies on again.
And though we wish it could have stayed

We feel so lucky to have seen it.

Ed Page