My friend Peter’s basement was a perfect square in one corner. On rainy days when we couldn’t go skate or cause other mischief, we would go round-robbin in boxing in the basements depths. It was Peter, David, and I in one minute matches. If you’ve ever boxed…one minute is LONG time, and you are sucking wind at the end. One guy would fight the other two, and then get a one minute break while the others went head to head. You learned to put the gloves on—really slow, and stretch out your recovery break. With the music blaring and the adrenaline flowing, it was about as much fun as a couple of boys home alone could have on a rainy day.

We did have two rules: 1. No head shots 2. No ball shots. Occasionally however these two rules were “accidentally” broken, and the match was over for awhile whilst one of us recovered, doubled over on the floor. It seems that those shots happened most often to David being the younger brother of Peter. David at that time was a freshman, and Peter and I juniors. But, David was as tall as his brother, and two inches taller than I, so he had some reach, and held his own.

David was a good looking kid, intelligent, good at almost everything, and funny. Peter and I were almost inseparable in high school. We hung out after school, our lockers were next to each other, and we shared many of the same classes. We even ended up going to the same college freshman year. I ended up transferring, and Peter and I gradually lost touch…as did David and I as well. But, Peter and David were always on my mind, and whenever I came back to town, I would endeavor to give them a call, or drop by their old house.

Through the “miracle” of Facebook, we’ve all been able to communicate again, and through the medium, David invited me to spend the night with he and his wife Jessica. David and I built a fire on sand south of Carmel, CA. and watched what was left of the afterglow. Jessica lovingly made dinner for us, and we all shared laughs into the night.

Jessica and David are loving compassionate people. They take earnestly their faith and are devout followers of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. They earnestly pray that the food they consume will do all it is capable to feed, heal, and empower them so that they can love and serve others, and serve they do.

Jessica works as a special education teacher in the public schools with learning disabled kids. This means a lot to me personally, as I am sure it does Peter, for both of us are dyslexic. David beautifully was able to cultivate his passion into his occupation. Out of college, he volunteered at outdoor schools. Being a avid outdoorsman and ornithologist, he used his work there to garner internships with several different companies, zoos, and non-profits and has created his dream career. He helps birds of prey in the wild by raising them, re-introduction, fostering, mending, and protecting all species of falcons, vultures, hawks, and eagles. But it is is California Condor which has stolen his heart, and as such, he works 12 hour days to ensure that they stick around forever.

First discovered by Lewis and Clark on their arrival to the Pacific, their range formerly was from Alaska to Peru. Their 10 ft. wingspan made them easy targets, and brought them nearly to extinction, but thanks to the efforts of people like David the colony is no longer declining as much, and there has been talk of reintroducing them into the Columbia River Gorge.

It seems that love, compassion, and kindness in all forms around the world are being displayed by people, not only to each other and the birds and the bees. If we all just do what we can, like David and Jessica, we can make the world even more beautiful. Love, Art, & Peace to all.