Craig Wiesner

I woke up at 4 a.m. Feb. 26 with two things rattling inside my head, the song “Leader of the Band” and the words “good grief.” The first was beautifully performed by a musician at my friend Robert E. (Bob) McDonald’s celebration of life at the Plantation Coffee Shop on Laurel Street in San Carlos the afternoon before. The second is Charlie Brown’s lament on the state of his world in the comic strip Peanuts, a favorite from my childhood.

Bob was known to many as “The Mayor of Laurel Street.” At 4:30 a.m. you’d find him at the Plantation fueling up for doing taxes and audits and in the evenings you could often find Bob somewhere playing his guitar. Around 100 people packed into the Plantation to remember Bob and as his friend Rick Laub played “Leader of the Band” my grief hit a crescendo. I wasn’t alone as I looked around the room. With only one month of having my own shop in San Carlos, I only recognized one or two faces from the neighborhood but all the faces I saw seemed to be experiencing that same high level of grief in that moment. Bob’s children, Robert (always Bobby to me) and Kathryn (always Katie to me) spoke of how doting Bob was as a parent, showing up at every recital and football game, despite, as Katie pointed out to Bobby’s chagrin, neither of them being very good at their art or sport. Watching and listening to them speak about their father on Saturday I need them to know that they top the charts in life, love and talent and their father was always proud of them, as are my husband and I. Derrick lost his dad at a young age and, for a time, Bob became a second father to him, playing the role of Derrick’s father when we got married 33 years ago.

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(1) comment

Dirk van Ulden

Thank you Craig - Many of us feel the same pain that you so well articulated.

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