Albert Wang Memorial, September 20th 2008.

Albert Wang was an amazing and well loved person. I would have liked to call him a friend but thought of him only as an acquaintance. He was always smiling, full of life, running off to do fun things. He died of cancer earlier this year, and during the process he told his brother Tom: ďItís a good thing I decided to retire firstĒ. He always looked like he was having twice as much fun as the rest of us and lived a full life in the short time that he did have. I didnít think I knew him well and at his memorial service I learned that I knew even less than I thought! There were several very different groups of people attending who looked at each other and must have thought the same thing I did: ďAlbert also hung out with those guys? Where did he find the time?Ē

After the memorial, which was held at Jack London Square behind California Canoe and Kayak (CCK), a bunch of Albertís BASK friends paddled out the Oakland Estuary to escort his ashes to the bay. I volunteered to sit in the back of a double kayak and escort one of the relatives. But a bunch of them decided not to go by kayak and I wasnít needed. Since I had not brought my own kayak, Keith Miller of CCK let me borrow one of his high performance kayaks to go on the paddle.

As we paddled up the estuary towards the open bay the wind and wave chop became stronger and stronger. At the mouth of the estuary the waves intimidated most of the kayakers. Only Keith in one double kayak and Albertís brother Tom in a second paddled out into the bay. I started to follow and discovered that they had just dashed out a short distance to scatter the ashes. Then we all paddled back to Jack London square with the wind and waves at our back.

All text and images Copyright © 2008 by Mike Higgins / contact