Monday, August 20, 2007

Live in Flying Colors: Cindy!

What a packed weekend!

Friday night was the Flying Colors after-hours event celebrating the comings and goings of our ever-fantastic staff.

On the "goings" side: Jenny is off to training with Southwest Airlines and Brian is off to run his family's business in Benicia. On the "comings" side: We have two new staff---Marty, who's been here for the last month or so and Jazmine, who is now in her third week! And Friday was Andy's birthday, too.

We had a comfortable crowd of 75 or so for the Friday evening event. Cindy performance wound up starting at about 9:30---and I'm happy to share with you one of her songs. This may have been the first time ever that comic-related statue boxes served as a lyrics' easel, but it worked. I hope you enjoy the song.

The party broke up around midnight (scheduled end was 10pm!), we did a little cleaning, and I wound up not getting to sleep until 3:30 am. That wouldn't have been so bad if Libby and I didn't have to leave the house at 7:30am to catch a plane from the San Francisco Airport on Saturday morning, so I got about three hours' shut-eye before our flight to Eugene Oregon.

The reason for the quick trip to Oregon was the recent passing of Libby's Uncle Frank Hart--- an amazing man with a very full life! We were there to take part in two memorial events for Frank---the first at the Hart home in Winston OR and the second, on Sunday, a public memorial tribute at WILDLIFE SAFARI, also in Winston.

Frank was the founder of WILDLIFE SAFARI, an amazing 700 acre drive-through spread of animals from around the world. Everything from rhinos and hippos, to turkey vultures, black bears, cheetahs, zebras and many animals with such exotic names I doubt I'd spell them correctly here. WILDLIFE SAFARI is one of the most successful breeding places for the African Cheetah, with more than 150 live births of Cheetah cubs over the last 30 years.

Frank was also a World War II hero, earning the prestigious Silver Star. He was also in charge of the American guards at the Nuremberg Nazi war trials!

All the accolades, accomplishments and history aside, Uncle Frank was a super nice gentleman, with a good laugh and broad smile who loved his family and took genuine interest in those around him.

If there's a small connection to the world of comics and pop culture in this post, here it is: Frank and his older brother, John (famous cowboy actor and the "other" LONE RANGER, who also appeared in the serial "Atom Man versus SUPERMAN") were, as young lads, inspired to a life of adventure by reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' TARZAN series, as well as Frank Buck's "Bring "em Back Alive".

I'm including a photo here of Libby with her Aunt Barbara---a wonderful and amazing lady, in my humble opinion. When Frank went on nearly 50 African safaris, Aunt Barbara was there for darn near all of 'em. She embraced Frank's vision of an animal conservancy in what was then a fairly remote part of Oregon.

It was an awe-inspiring weekend, full of laughter and marvelous stories. I want to send my best wishes to the entire Hart Family, with thanks for allowing me to be a part of the celebration of a truly magnificent life.


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