The event celebrating my cousin's life was this past weekend on Sunday in San Francisco. It was held at a restaurant where he was maitre 'd after he retired and where for many years he was a server. They provided a buffet brunch and it was an open bar. I found out the staff all volunteered their time. When I thanked a few of the servers, they replied, "Hey, no problem. Anything for David." My cousin was an avid opera fan and the restaurant is right around the corner from the SF Opera House and is frequented by the singers and musicians. He tried to get me excited about Wagner, but it never happened, although I am fond of Mozart, Puccini and Verdi. He influenced me in ways I'm sure he was never aware. As a gay man, he lived his life to the fullest and with dignity and grace. He died the same way. Over a hundred people attended the event and many of them took the microphone and spoke of the many ways he touched their lives. It was so amazing to see how many people from so many different backgrounds and eras of his life spoke of how important he was in their lives. I spoke of the time I visited him when I was a young High School kid and he took me to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in North Beach and I had linguine with clams for the first time. Fish and Chips in Sausilito. Another first. A stroll down Haight to the Park during the Summer of Love. Smoking pot and hearing Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band for the first time. The City was alive and vibrant with hope and possibility and David was my guide. I will miss him.
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