I first met Bernie in 1994-5 through his granddaughter, my friend and then roommate, Rebekka. He used to swing by our apartment in his large sedan in order to take us out for a night of big-band jazz music. Bob Enos's Soundwave was the name of the group and they had a standing gig at a joint in Alameda, CA. called Rooster's. Bob Enos and his big band play some of the best music I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. If you're inclined, then have a nose around YouTube and you'll find oodles of videos recording bits of their live shows.
In addition to being a passionate music lover, Bernie was also an amazing artist. He made sculpture out of recyclable goods, plywood and cardboard. During my study abroad year in Germany, Bernie and I exchanged letters. Enclosed in his missives were snaps of his current art pieces. I recall his writing to me that there was interest in his work from a gallery. There had been an offer to show his creations. He wrote to me wondering if what he making was good enough to be exhibited. I gave him a hearty thumbs up. In a subsequent letter he thanked me for being supportive of his work. He made it seem as if I had somehow had a hand in getting him to have his work shown. That was the thing about Bernie. He always made you feel vital, included, a part of things.
|I think this three inch piece was a study for what eventually became a much larger composition.|
Oh, and, Bernie told me that when he drove a taxi he hated being referred to as 'cabbie'.