In Memory Of Chris Christensen
I received very sad news this morning from Elizabeth Christensen, the wife of a long-time friend from back in high school. Chris Christensen passed a way today after a long battle with cancer. Although I had few contacts with Chris since our high school days, he was a very important influence in my life giving me opportunities that I had never thought I would have achieved.
Chris and I played a lot of baseball back in our earlier days and we did a lot of backpacking together with another long time and close friend, Steve Schneider. From high school, we all moved on with our lives. I moved to northern California, while Chris and Steve both ending up in the state of Washington. Chris and Steve managed to develop a close and very meaningful relationship throughout the years, which ended up being my good fortune.
You see, Chris went on to be a very successful building contractor and during the spring of 1981, Chris accept a large building job in the big state of Alaska. Steve, always wanting adventure, had a talk with Chris and before I knew it, Steve had convinced Chris to take us along with him as “grunts” doing anything he asked us to do. Wow, what an opportunity. Before I knew it, I was on a plane to Anchorage, Alaska for about a two month adventure that would land us in Valdez, Alaska. A place and a time that I will never forget, cooking dinners, doing dishes and learning the art of framing and construction (while mutilating all of my fingers on my left hand). Although it rained everyday but three in the month of July in Valdez, the things I learned from Chris would change my life forever, giving me opportunities to grow and to have the confidence to do things on my own.
You see, less than one year after that life changing experience with Chris, Joyce and I demolished more than half of our house, drew up plans and added more than a 1200 sq feet to our old house (two bedrooms, 2 bath, large kitchen, dining room and new entrance ways. What a project and what a learning experience that took us about a year to complete (while working our normal jobs). An accomplishment we would never have had the opportunity to do, if it were not for Chris. This good fortune, allowed Joyce and I to continue to build and add on to our house for years to come and provide a wonderful place to live and raise our family to this very day.
Thank You, Chris. Thank You. You made a big difference in our life. I only wish we had more time together as families. Rest in Peace my good friend.