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Memories
Ashleigh Watson
 
Eric was one of those people who just always happened to show up at the most random times for me. I always admired him when I was younger, partially because I admired my dad so much and he was one of my dad's best friends. They grew up together and were really close as far as cousins go. He was the only person in my life who ever called me shrimp on a regular basis, because I'm so short :). Trying to share a memory is hard for me because I have so many snippets of them but I was only 16 when he died, and that was almost three years ago... I still think about him through everything. I remember the last birthday party he came to, he gave me five dollars and a card, which was a big deal because I wanted him to show, but he told me he couldn't come, and I think of that every birthday I have, now. I remember rafting down the Gulkana with the rest of our family - that was an adventure, for sure. That's one of the greatest things about Eric. He was such an adventurer. At my graduation, I took time from celebrating to write him a letter and seal it, telling him I wish he could've been there for such a big moment in my life. I sent that letter down river with a fishing pole. I still miss him every day, to this day. I love you, Eric. Always will.
Boulder Blackwell
 

I swear the wind blew the ladder over (see below story)...

Kim Blackwell
 

With the loss of Eric I have had to learn to do a lot of things around the house.  Well, thank goodness I have a lot of tools and a mother-in-law that answers her cell phone.  Just before summer it started getting hot, so I ventured up on the roof to get the swamp cooler running.  I had everything I needed - cooler parts, tools that I guessed to be appropriate, hat on my head, and as an afterthought - cell phone in my pocket.  I crawled up the ladder to my boiling hot tin roof and got to work quickly.  My cell phone rang and I answered it.  It was the furniture lady giving me the great news that my couch, chair, ottoman, and dining room set had arrived.  Woo hoo!!!  The college furniture was about to go away forever!!  Well, the celebration was short lived because as I said my g'bye to the furniture store lady I heard a loud metal on porch sort of crash. 

 

I peered over the side to see the ladder tipped over and my sweet cattle dog pup - Boulder trotting away looking very guilty.  He's in the picture shown here...sitting in the corner...in the shade.  I'm on the roof - boiling.  Kim on a hot tin roof is not good.

 

So I call my sweet mother-in-law, Pam, and ask her what she's doing.  As fate would have it she was at or close to Starbucks.  This was great news!!!  I'll be rescued and have Starbucks within the half hour.  True to her word with coffee bean product in hand - I was saved.  The cooler was fixed and all was well. 

 

People often ask me how I'm doing, how I'm holding up...I guess all things considered I'm doing okay with the help of my energetic and mischief making little cattle dog named, Boulder.  I just love him!

 

Eric and I lost Moony, our previous cattle dog in March, 2007 and he insisted on waiting until fall to get the next one.  He said this one shouldn't have any dark markings on their face, should be blue, and if it was a boy we'd name it Boulder and a girl would be called Granite.  He also insisted it be a puppy 8 to 9 weeks old. 

 

On July 3, 2007 Boulder was born.  Pam and I went to Anza (near Indio) to look at the litter the end of August.  They were running around chasing leaves in this grassy area tackling each other.  It wasn't hard to pick him out with his blue fur, face with no markings, and his sweet nature.  He snuggled Pam all the way home and has been such a fun companion even if he does things like knock over my ladder.   

 

Thank you, Eric for helping me pick out and name this sweet dog.  I wish you were here to wrestle with him, because he's eating me alive...all boy!! 

Bill and Vicky
 
Vicky and I lost two sons last July. Todd was our son, we "adopted" Eric in 1992. Eric was several years older and such a good "big brother" to Todd. Sometimes they didn't get along. But they were always there for each other. Todd was a "let's get 'er done) kind of guy. Eric was a "yeah, but what if?" kind of guy. Kim and Eric introduced Todd and Kelci longdistance, (Todd was in Fairbanks, Kelci in Techachapi). After months of communication between them, Todd moved to California to explore their relationship. Shortly thereafter Todd went to work for Scaled Composites. Eric and Todd were selected to work on the propulsion system for SS2. They were having a lot of fun working together. Their boss said that they could speak a few words "which noone else understood" and be laughing. He said "I want to be one of the Cool Guys too. We love our sons and miss them very much.
Dean and Pam Blackwell
 
To our son -- to your dad, you were "Butch", to Pam you were "Er"
 
We hope you know how truly proud we are of you and the man you had grown up to be. We were in awe of the fine person you were and will always be. You were strong, generous, and always ready to jump in feet first to accomplish a goal you had set for yourself. You were capable of anything you set your mind to -- and there weren't too many things you wouldn't tackle.
 
You had no idea how tall and strong and handsome you were -- although you didn't seem to know it, hearts were surely broken all over the place when ladies discovered that you were taken.   You were humble and sometimes shy, and always sensitive to the feelings of people around you.
 
We treasure the memories we shared when you were young -- sitting on the chairlift at June Mountain, we could see you on the chair up ahead of us with your skis crossed at their tails, looking like a little frog in your bulky jacket and hat...or as a little boy coming home in tears because you and your best friend had a fight and you were sure that you would never be friends ever again...wanting to sleep with your BB-gun so that you could protect us all if someone broke into the house...seeing you and Ronnie Doucette wearing trash bags as raincoats so that you could keep fishing in the rain at Yosemite...watching you send up a "rooster tail" when you water skied at Lake Mead...
 
And when you were older -- skillfully guiding your "cataraft" over the rapids on the Gulkana River (you made it look so effortless), arranging for us to ride along on the mail plane to an Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle (and having to do an emergency repair on the plane before we could take off), living in a dry cabin in Fairbanks with a moose outside your door - blocking the path the to outhouse.., spending an entire afternoon running all over town looking for memory to upgrade our computer when your dad was so frustrated by it's lack of speed  -- you were determined to make it better for him.   When we were unable to upgrade the computer, we took your advice and got a new computer -- you were right, and the new one is so much better.
 
It's still hard to believe that the phone isn't going to ring with you on the other end asking if we want to go to Denny's for lunch with you and Kim... or to go to a movie...or just hearing you talk about how great the Bellagio Hotel was on your honeymoon and how we needed to go there at least once. We didn't have the heart to tell you that the reason it was so wonderful was because you were there with Kim.
 
We really miss hearing you laugh and seeing how happy you were over the past few years that you and Kim had gotten your lives settled together. You seemed to always have a big grin on your face that said "See, I've finally found the key to my happiness --  Kim."
 
You'd be proud of Kim -- she's strong and smart, and she's really hanging in there, and she's keeping all of the rest of us going.   She's doing things you two had talked about doing. Bringing home Boulder has been great, and he's all puppy -- he's keeping everyone on their toes (and his Aunt Dorah has named him the "paranahkey" -- someday soon those little sharp needles will be replaced with real doggie teeth!).   
 
And thank you, Eric, for Kim. We are grateful for the time you two shared...although it was too short. You two should have been together 'til you were both old and crotchety.  She is a joy to be with, and is a very special part of our lives.
 
We will always love you and you are our souls,
Dad and Pam
Total Memories: 16
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