Wednesday, February 22, 2006


We got a house full of rental furniture today. Cable was hooked up here at the rental so I am now reconnected to the digital world. Hi.

Two of the three adjusters I have working on my claim through Allstate came out to the house to walk around, take pictures and poke and prod. I'm sick of the smell of wood smoke, soot and burned plastic.

There is obviously a lot going on right now and will be for some time, but I wanted to mention a few positive things that are keeping me going...

  1. RestorX says it looks like they will be able to salvage some of the data on the hard drives they yanked from the office computers and laptop. Holding breath.
  2. RestorX says my Ovation guitar (the 22nd birthday gift from Sam) was in a hard shell case and is being sent to a stringed instrument shop to be detailed, but it seems to have survived okay.
  3. We have beds to sleep on.
  4. I am still out of pocket for my replacement computer, printer and dress suit (which I purchased for Jordan's wedding 2 weeks ago and the dedication for Sam tonight, and which was hanging by the front door and vaporized in the fire), but at least I have them, and can make the presentation tonight.
  5. A reporter from the Seattle PI called and talked to me this afternoon, so there is going to be more press. This part always makes me uncomfortable - I'm no stranger to hype for creative endeavors, but this is not exactly how anyone wants to become a celebrity.
  6. Tomorrow, the Seattle Fire Department is presenting the kids and me with a Fred Meyer gift certificate (more clothes for the kids - school starts back up next week). The reporter will be there, and there will be a photo op.
  7. My buddy David Choi came down to the house on Sunday and shot a walkthrough for the Extreme Makeover folks.
  8. David Beach, my oldest friend on the planet with whom I'm still in contact, wrote perhaps the most beautiful tribute to me on his blog. Thanks Dave. It makes a huge difference in my psychological outlook.
Speaking of the dedication, I thought I would end my entry today with the speech I'm delivering at the event tonight...

I hope I don’t sound trite when I say that theatre was in Sam’s blood. We met in a high school drama class, later discovering we’d both worked tech on the same production of Romeo & Juliet at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater two years previous. And although we were both film majors in college and dabbled in music, we never wandered far from the stage.

In the twenty-plus years we shared, Samantha honed her craft, whether on the stage, backstage or in the booth. In productions at the Haymarket Theatre, The New Varsity, Palo Alto Children’s Theater, Foothill College, San Francisco State, LACT, ArtsWest, Theater Schmeater, and with Wingspread and Twelfth Night, she proved to be a tireless talent, a driving organizational force and a consummate professional.

Samantha was drawn to the Twelfth Night mission of building community through the arts. It was this sense of community that enticed us to settle in West Seattle, to become merchants, to raise a family. It is this community which sustained us through Sam’s cancer diagnosis in 2002, her three-year fight against the disease, and her passing last year, just one month before my father lost his own battle with cancer. It is this community which reaches out even now, as my children and I meet continued challenges and create new lives for ourselves.

Although exhausted from constant chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Samantha was able to tread the boards one final time, as Mrs. Peterson in the Twelfth Night production of Bye Bye Birdie, sharing the stage with her husband and daughter – a girl of eight who is already charting a future in the arts. In productions to come, Kayleigh will be able to see her mother’s name on this booth, and be reminded not only of her mother’s talent, but her contribution to the Seattle theatre community, including her expertise in the design of the control booth at this facility.

I am honored to continue Samantha’s legacy of involvement with the Seattle arts community, and to dedicate this control booth in honor of my Juliet, Samantha Downing.


beach said...

Hey brother. Good luck tonight. I'll be thinking of you. Keep it together. Don't worry about the attention. Deep down people like to do good things. Let them help you. You deserve it. Your kids deserve it.

One day this will all be just a memory. It won't be a reality any longer. You won't have to deal with the inconvenience, the pain (as much), the attention... You'll be that cool, creative guy with the great kids living in a new house. You'll have the freedom and the time to accomplish your life's ambition. You will do it. Wounds are meant to hurt, but they are also meant to heal.

Bug said...

"I'm smiling on you, greatness"

So glad to hear that you're being taken care of. :) Bring on the Extreme Makeover crew!!



Cyn said...

Todd - what a beautiful tribute to Sam! And how very cool that Kayleigh is showing her mother's talent and interest in the performing arts.

Cindy D.

Edward Havens said...

Hope everything went well last night. Sent you an email at your old Deep7 addy Monday but I don't know if you got it. Just wanted to let you know you're still in my thoughts, buddy. And Dave is right... wounds always hurt when they're fresh, and they always heal after some passing of time.


LL Cool P said...

Ditto everyone's comments here. I'm sending lots of love and hope the dedication went well.

Meanwhile, what do you guys still need? Can I send you a Target gift card, at least?

tbone said...

Thanks everyone - your support means a lot to me. LL, I can always use a Target gift card.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me. Just a stranger in NYC who stumbled upon your blog. I am touched, thoughtful, inspired by your courage and words. Amazing.

tbone said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. Samantha touched many people with her cancer journal - people she didn't know and would unfortunately never meet. My hope is that others can benefit from any insight they might find on this blog.