Mel Geary Memorial - words

Mel was like my father in being physically handsome and strong, but was more so, in my view. Like my father, Mel's sense of worth and dignity came from within. They held their heads high, those two. I was going to use the word 'integrity', which they both had, although very differently.

My father's integrity meant he strived to be moral, truthful, and responsible according to standards of society. He studied the bible and law books. Being a Unitarian, loving and serving humanity were his greatest beliefs. He was the faithful husband, loving father, breadwinner, gardener, and do-it-yourself home-builder. He attained moderation in many things. Iver was not a social animal though, which Mel was.

Mel had a conflicted longing for Iver's kind of integrity and manifested it with some people some of the time, albeit with an 'art world', rather than a middle class orientation. But more important was his inner integrity. His personal power sprang fresh, uninhibited, and often was at odds with just about everything, particularly in his love of women. He was a very physical lover, constantly making new friends, no matter what, even with at least four marriages. He was sensitive to the inner being of others, in a Zen sense, he was not separate. He would reach out to a crying child or someone lost. This kind of integrity did not have to do with morality. It had to do with being true to his own sense of connection, long-term or fleeting.

The greatest similarity between the two men was their sense of humor. They both loved a play on words. They would dissect a word, mispronounce it musingly, and repeat, savoring, as if polishing it. Both had favorite phrases, repeated like mantras, as if explaining mystical truths. Iver: "A sock hunt to end all sock hunts." Mel: "the well's gone dry." Both had phrases from their upbringing. My dad's Swedish "shut bullas" for meat balls. "Too full for sound or foam", from a poem."Strange and so wonderful." Mel's "pins" for legs. "Looks like death eating firecrackers". Or the "little red house painted green". My son was like them too.

Wish these three jokers weren't so dead.

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