Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ceal Beierly’

As of today, there have been 378,777 COVID-19 related deaths in the United States.  This post is about one of them…
Last week, while we (the nation) were going through a violent civil insurrection in the nation’s capitol, Joseph Beierly was engaged in his own personal “insurrection” battle.  Sadly, he lost his battle.
I met Joe back in 1962, through his older brother, Ralph Beierly who was in my grammar school class.  Ralph had five brothers (in order: Dave, Frank, Ray, Ralph, Joe and George) he lived with and two half-brothers who were already grown up and no longer living at home.  Joe was the second youngest of those still at home.  Joe / Ralph’s parents took me under their wings and it was not unusual for me to have dinner at their house more than once a week.
At some point, you realize the older and younger siblings of your friends (like your own brothers and sisters) become “real” people, instead of “big” or “little” brother / sister of… (whomever).  Sometimes this realization is sudden.  Frequently, it is not.  For me, this happened with Joe while we were on a “road-trip” to Canada.  Joe and I had gone up to Lake Shasta to water ski and hang out on another friend’s pontoon houseboat for a week.  Unfortunately, my other friend had a family emergency and had to secure the houseboat and return to the Bay Area, so Joe and I were left high and dry for the remainder of the week.
Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

Joe Beierly on our trip to Canada

At the time, Joe was working for a telephone manufacturing company which was doing something in Canada and offering U.S. staff the opportunity to relocate if they wished to.  Joe asked if I would mind spending the remainder of the week driving up to Canada to “check out” the new location to see if he was interested.  With nothing else to tie us down, I agreed to split the costs and off we went.
Joe drove up to Seattle and then we boarded a ferry to Vancouver.  That’s pretty much it.  We saw a lot of greenery.  Joe and I rode our first car ferry.  (Why a car ferry?  Just because neither of us had ever been on one.  We drove back.)  We listened to a lot of music during the drives.  A couple of nights we camped and a couple we stayed in “inexpensive” (cheap) motels.  We mostly did just enough to keep the trip going.  Then we’d park and chill.  Did I mention we brought along seven cases of beer for the week we expected to stay at Shasta?  As I recall, we got through five of them and I let him have the remainder when we got back to S.F.
What did I learn about Joe?  Mostly he had grown up to be his own man while I was away in the Army.  He was a bit of Dave (he enjoyed working with his hands).  He was a bit of Frank (he could be a charmer when he wanted to be).  He was a bit of Ray and Ralph in music tastes and how he treated other people with respect – irrespective of their job / station.  Like his dad, he had a way of looking at things logically and figuring them out.  Like George, he had a “little brother” attitude: “You may be a bit older, but I’m nippin’ at your heels, and I’ll catch up soon.”  But mostly, what I realize now is that he had what I call the Beierly “give it try” attitude.  “If it doesn’t work out, we’ll fix it or try something different.”

Joe in his Dress Whites

I’m not sure if Joe ever got offered or accepted that job in Canada.  (I don’t believe he did.)  The next thing I heard he was in the Navy.  I was a bit surprised by that because Joe wasn’t one to take “instruction” from his older brothers (a mind of his own), but he took to the Navy like a fish to water.  Joe got married (to Ceal, the proclaimed love of his life).  He made a career of service.  And he raised a family which he openly cherished.  We were both raised Roman Catholics.  I’ve tended to fall off the wagon periodically, but Joe became a working Christian (“by their acts you shall know them”).  Unfortunately, with my living in Europe and his living around the world (and / or way over on the East Coast), I never got a chance to ask him about that.  I would check in with Ray before and after football season and Ray would tell me about Joe’s kids this and Joe traveling there and Joe helping these people with that.  All the things “family” talk about when you’ve known each other long enough to not have to say anything and you’re sure there’s always time to kick-it again in a few months.

Joe and Ceal

And now, Ray and Joe are both gone…
The world is a better place for them having been here.  My world is a little less sunny for their passing.  And once again I mourn the loss of a brother by another mother…
COVID-19 is just a virus.  It doesn’t care about how many lives it takes or the families and grief it leaves behind.  378,777 of our fellow Americans have died…  This post has been about one of them.
.
On This Day In:
2020 Implications
2019 Just To…
2018 Still Going…
2017 Great Risk
2016 Robbery
2015 Humanity Plus
2014 Dinner For Two?
2013 Exercise For Those Over 50
2012 Tearful Joy!!
Except When He’s Left

Read Full Post »

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: