Wednesday, June 29, 2011
howard platt has died
My friend, Howard Platt, died in a hospital in Prince Rupert about midnight on Monday.
A number of you know him through his comments on this blog. But you know him best for the bird photographs he would submit and his encyclopedic knowledge of those fascinating feathered creatures.
Howard is one of the reasons I moved to Melaque. He was a frequent contributor to the local message board, always willing to share his best birding spots in the area.
As luck would have it, he moved to Manzanillo while I was moving to Melaque. For the years I have been here, we tried to set up times to go birding. But circumstances would always get in the way.
But I would see him at various art functions, fundraisers, or in Walmart. He was always ready to share his very English wit and his take on things local or international.
I learned quickly that he is the type of man for which the term "gentleman" was coined. He was always respectful of his wife, Ewa, and treated everyone with the type of civility that is not often seen in public.
Just before he went north to Canada this year, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. The treatments in Colima were going quite well. But he contracted a cold in British Columbia that quickly led to his death.
Howard and Ewa celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in that hospital room, in Ewa's words -- "an ocean view room with bald eagles flying by, ravens being buzzed by crows, and swallows hunting for bugs." Howard loved his birds, but he loved Ewa even more.
While Howard was on the road, we arranged to set up our long-delayed birding trip. Both of us knew that it might never occur. But he was both an optimist and a realist. Two traits for I came to respect in him.
I will miss that birding trip, Howard. And I will miss you. But I will never miss the part of you that has changed me for the better.