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The Page Perrin Project Part 2: The Memorial

I’ve spent the last four days completely out of touch from the world and I loved it.

What I loved even more was the drive back up to Hat Creek to meet with others, to commemorate Page Perrin’s full life. If you’re ‘yawn,’ then here, a comment from Sandy, a former lover from the 70’s. Came in just this morning.

This is the saddest news ever.

I lived with Page for four years after first arriving in the SF Bay Area in 1975. His encouragement was the reason I went into the computer field. He taught my older two daughters and I to play chess. He taught me to ride a motorcycle and helped me choose my own.

I came to San Francisco for a girlfriend’s wedding. Her fiance was Page’s best friend at the time. They worked at the microwave station on Bernal Hill. It was love at first sight, and truth be told, I have never stopped loving him though far and distant our lives became. My girls thought of him as their father. Every year I would Google Page just to read about what he was up to and was always glad to see how happy and involved he was with his chosen community.

I will always love him; and yes, he said that to me too—many times—that he wanted to fade away, like he was never even here…when he died. How can he ever fade away when the old love is still as strong and the children he helped raise for four years and visited for their birthdays every year ’till he moved to Hatcreek? How can this man ever fade away? He wasn’t a small giant, he was a huge giant of a man… a scholar, a teacher, a friend…and once, a lover.

Love you Page till Forever Ends.

For someone who wanted to fade away, he sure had a knack for sticking with folks.

Although I didn’t stay in contact with Page, he was always in my heart and soul. He was my blue eye’d tom cat. He lived life! I loved this man so many, many years ago.

I didn’t write about his cause of death in my previous post, but it was heart failure. He’d had problems for 20 years or more, even a heart attack while flying. Perhaps, getting 40 acres, camping on those acres before building “the cave” to live in for some years before retiring and plopping down a manufactured house—leaving himself with 2/3 of the money he got when he sold his place in Oakland—then having a private retirement paycheck he signed up for and earned, all served to extended his life in a natural way as best he could.

Word is, at the end, he was given a bunch of options—all intensive, including transplant—and he said, instead: “let’s go home.”

…I headed out Thursday evening around 6:30pm. (All pics can be clicked for hi-res versions.)

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Six hours and five hours of driving later, I was back in San Jose where I started, at 12:15am: having forgotten something. After 3 hours of sleep, I headed back out and got punished even more for my stupidity, by means of an overturned bigrig that tied things up for a couple of hours. I deserved it. But, Mike & I got there.

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Baby bro Mike pitching it in our campsite (I slept in my car)

By the time I arrived Friday afternoon, I was in no condition to set that glider up and fly. Instead, Mike & I took pics and vid of others.

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I’ve long recognized the fact that you don’t choose your family, you choose your friends. I’m lucky. I actually don’t have a family packed with worthless assholes. …Yea, a couple of uncles who should have been women or altar boys; but I digress….

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Not a single family member
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Not a single family member

Funny: I’ve known Page for 15 years. He introduced me to the Flying Hat Creek Rim particulars in June of 1998, and was present and/or in the air with me for about 50 more flights over the years. So, when I went to this shindig, I have this 15-yr-old chip on my shoulder, just in case there was a competition over who’s known and been friends with Page longest.

I sucked. 90% of people I talked to had known him twice as long and longer. There were like 2 who’d known him about as long, but zero I talked to who had loved him less than 15 years.

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That’s me doing a high-speed buzz of the launch
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The social

Saturday evening was just wild in the LZ with 100+ Friends of Page: crazy local rancher food, a huge bonfire, and even a coupla hot chick fire dancers putting on a show about 10pm. Just after I landed myself, ’round 7:30—after a comfy 30-min excursion—I looked up and counted; there were more than 30 gliders in the air sharing the rim’s wonderful late afternoon blessings. We all got a real show over the next hour with continual landing shows. I myself haven’t been in that sort of gaggle—where you have to be very circumspect of others sharing the 3D air—in years.

It felt good to do that again.

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Page’s handmade drums, from local raw cowhide he tanned himself
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The Bench

It’s the same bench that’s been there since I began my tenure in 1998. Now it has a new addition. Before my very first flight, just having met Page and having no idea who he was beyond just some HG pilot who gives you a “site intro,” I asked him: “So about when does it start ‘glassing off?'”

“6:18.”

Period. I have to write it out, because there’s no other way to emphasize a period. At the time, I thought he was just fucking with me fun-like. But, no, The glassoff starts at 6:18! Every day. The glassoff always happens at 6:18. And as someone put it, somewhere:

“6:18 will never be the same.”

…It was Page’s single shtick I’m aware of, and he was always completely deadpan about it.

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Page and his dog Spot

From the FB Memorial Page, written by his friend, neighbor, memorial organizer, and the guy trustfully seeing to his final affairs, Steve:

THE SHORT STORY ABOUT SPOT THE DOG

Spot showed up at Page’s one day as a stray. His many other dogs didn’t want any part of him and wouldn’t let him in the house. So Page brings him by my house. Tells me he got me a dog. I tell him I already have three dogs. Don’t need another one.

Page leaves. Did not take the dog with him. Next morning ‘the dog’ leaves, after awhile. Heads right back to Page’s. He calls me saying “my dog” was over at his house. Come get it.

I didn’t.

This goes on for awhile and “That Dog” is wandering all over Hat Creek, chasing cattle, etc. Always went back to Pages at the end of the day, though.

I’m laughing, because it is Page’s dog, now.

Page didn’t like the ‘ha-ha’ on him, so he makes this shiny medallion for spot; stamps my phone number into it. …So I start getting phone calls that my dog is chasing livestock and won’t go home. And Page is now laughing at me, because all the neighbors think he’s my dog.

I changed the phone number on the medallion to his, but it was too late; the neighbors already had spoken.

Spot was my problem.

Spot finally stopped running around and Page’s place became his home to him.

So now I’m laughing. Seeing the pic’s of Page smiling on here reminds me of all the times he looked at me, smiled and said “PISSSSSSST?” Well, I’m not. I do however miss our daily visits together.

PS….. I had promised Page I would take care of his Dogs and that is exactly what I intend on doing. His wishes for them was to continue their life in Hat Creek and when they pass from old age, I am to have them cremated and spread their ashes in Hat Creek. The Dogs are doing fine and get to go with me when they can, depending on what I’m doing. For those who don’t know…. Page and the dogs have been close friends of mine for a long time and these were his wishes of me and I don’t mind. I may not be smiling because we miss him BUT it makes me smile because he won again………..I’m stuck with Spot. AND I’m honored because he is a good dog and friend.

Maybe someday, you’ll understand just how much I loath all of you people who masturbate in public, behind a fanny length curtain every 2 years in order to get your pathetic 1/300 millionth say in your own affairs…but really, only vying to either impose your values upon others in a way far removed from that sort of Page vs. Steve banter you just read about, or most commonly, to get your slice of a socialist pie at someone else’s expense because you are plain incompetent at living a human life.

Guess when I’m going to ever do a post like this about some pathetic NYC wanker who’s only “loved” by people who loath themselves. [Fucking…Never].

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Heaven or Hell?

If I believed in such fairy tales, I’d like to think of Page in Hell, with all the cool cats. Could you really think of Page in Heaven, walking streets of gold, living in a mansion built for him by Jesus the carpenter, sitting at the feet of God for an eternity of self subjugation, self loathing and worship?

Fucking worship? In 2013? WTF, and where is your fucking mind? If I have to, I’ll worship Page, thank you very much.

So, nope. Not me. Never, and I have a better idea:

~~~

“Hey, Lucy.”

“Yeah, Page. And why are you here, anyway? It’s all good, though. I’m seeing that a lot of your friends seem to want to come and keep you company…eventually.”

“I told them I wanted to fade away.”

“That’s why you’re here.”

“Huh?”

“You don’t get it, Page. ‘Heaven’…’Hell.’ These are just labels. One could do just as well—indeed, be more accurate—with ‘Dishonest and Ignorant’ vs. ‘In Your Face and Fuck You; Love Life.’ It’s the same thing. You’re here because you don’t fade into the 95% ignorant moron that peoples earth. You stand out, amongst just a sliver.

“But we’re all told that Heaven is bliss and Hell is torture.”

“Depends on your perspective. If you’re a pathetic wanker who can’t beat your way out of a wet paper sack in an entire 70-80 years of a so-called life, Heaven is definitely your place (shuuuuush: God doesn’t realize that I don’t even want 90% of his boring, wanker, sheepish ‘children’). Otherwise, I’m all about the special folks. Yea, some are wankers in their own right; and yea, we have a small number of sociopaths and psychopaths down here. But on the large, most of them—and 99.99999999999% of the sociopaths—are in Heaven. ‘Cause God seems to need the help herding the herd.”

“Ahh. Interesting. But I thought you were all about eternal torture. See, I have an idea for that.”

“I’m listening. But realize: that, too, depends upon your perspective.”

“OK, well, see what you think. First, we get these aluminum tubes and sail-cloth dacron….”

“…And then, we shove ’em all off the hill every night.”

“But, but, when…”

“6:18.”

~~~

I loved seeing all of you. I loved every minute of it. Thank you, 1 percenters.

…If there is such a place, see you all in Hell with all the cool cats, with Page. Let’s get that eternal torture going into serious production.

Update: From email.

My name is Paula Flynn and I met Page in 1978 while working at the local hamburger place across from his home on Thornhill Drive. Page would roll in around 2 or 3pm after waking up from working the graveyard shift and order one of Mort’s famous cheeseburgers for breakfast and of course coffee…Page didn’t drink alcohol when I met him.

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Page and I began hanging out, even though there was a 15 years age difference, that didn’t seem to matter. My parents met Page and even sat with him at my high school graduation…and my parents felt very comfortable with me, and my sister Patty and brother Dion hanging out with him. Page became part of our family. He sat with me and comforted me when my Dad passed away, and he would tell me ” Everyone GETS to die”…..

Page met Vicki around 1986, when he went out with her on a blind date. Page had been “between girlfriends” for awhile and he and Vicki hit it off..Vicki lived with Page for the next 8 years…..many of the older Bay Area pilots will remember Vicki and her endless encouragement to Page to help him learn to fly.

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hours were spent at Dillon Beach on the weekends where Page who go up and down those sand dunes all day long until he was exhausted….wearing Dingo boots made it tough..until Vicki bought him his first pair of tennis shoes. Page kept telling me how much he wanted to fly and watching the gliders at Fort Funston or over at Tam on his lunch hour, made him even more determined……I remember how proud he was when he got his Hang One..we had a huge party.

Page also rode motorcycles…and he rode them FAST…he began racing over at Sears Point riding as a ‘monkey’, the guy who hangs over the edge of the sidecar, and was racing motorcycles with a sidecar attached hanging over the edge with his nose inches from the ground.

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He raced until he broke his collar bone in an accident…but he still rode his motorcycles. He had a yellow, or should I called it ‘safety yellow’, Honda 500 and a Honda 650 and Honda Interceptor. We would fly all over the Oakland Hills on those bikes and would sometimes end up at Sequoia Point. ( that’s an Oakland hang out place). He rode his motorcycles everyday to work across the Richmond San Rafael bridge, splitting traffic all the way and driving in the emergency lane…his speeds topped 125 plus ..he was proud of how fast he could go and I’m sure he went allot faster than he told me……he loved to go fast but never got caught. His yellow Honda still sits at his home…but he traded in his motorcycles for a hang glider…

I remember when Page showed me a map with highlights of the area that he wanted to purchase in Hat Creek…and his dream began…he had come up to Hat Creek with a bunch of local Bay Area pilots and fell in love with Hat Creek..he was in his mid 30’s. For then on any free time that Page had was spent coming up to Hat Creek . I remember how proud he was of his pump house and he knew that retirement was in sight. Together we planted the apple tree near the pump house.

In 1991 Page and I along with several other friends headed up to Hat Creek for two weeks of fun and building of the cave house. On the first day that we arrived, Page received the news that his Mom had passed away. His mom, Cheryl, was a wonderful caring Mom who Page got along with very well. On the next day we headed up to launch. Page was coughing allot that day but wanted to fly, so we helped him take off…..and within minutes we knew something was wrong…Page headed straight down towards the ground…..when we found him he was in the field just before the road turns to dirt and he was still attached to his glider…We unhooked him and realized that something was wrong with him..his color was very pale and he could not catch his breath, but he had no pain….when the medics arrived he was taken to Fall River where they determined that he was having and had been having a heart attack. Page could not feel the pain in chest due to the heavy duty radiation treatment he received in his early 20’s while in the service. Page had testicle cancer and the radiation killed the nerve ending in his chest. From Fall River , Page was air lifted to Redding where he received a 5 way bypass. Within a week Page was released and he returned home. His friends Brook, Jodi and I stayed at the property with his dogs and worked on building the cave house. Page returned home with the help of his friend Lynn, only to have the Oakland Fire Storm happen weeks later, where Brook and I and many other close friends lost their homes. Page’s house aka “the 5680 Club” was saved and did not burn. Pages heart attack didn’t stop him..he accepted early retirement and moved to Hat Creek early the next year..he was only 44…..

from then on the Hat Creek story begins…his dream of going flying whenever he wanted and to get out of Dodge..that’s what he called Oakland…

Page had so many interests …it’s hard to remember them all, but what I will never forget is all the great times sitting around his table..the one that’s still in his home, and just having some of the best conversations and endless laughs….. hours spent watching Fraggle Rock and the Muppet show, the Wizard of Oz parties where Page would paint bricks “safety yellow”, and Saturday Night Live…doggie downers and puppy uppers.. .and Mr. Bill sat proudly on Page’s window sill..stumbling around Telegraph Ave and the archery range …sitting on the deck at Fallen Leaf and the midnight boats rides on the lake….Trader Vic’s..Page’s favorite place to eat…and the hot tubs…. his basement..learning code, making stained glass and the secret stair case to the upstairs..the phone that said where the number should be..” I don’t know what the number here is” the word” ‘Beverley”…lunches together when he worked on Diablo and dinner together almost every night with friends…his dogs, Suzie and Pearl, and his annoying habits….like sticking his finger in your mouth when you yawned..Page requesting La Cucaracha from the band while a cockroach climbed up the wall next us…doing the doorknob and the Time warp and going to Rocky Horror on Sat night… I loved every minute of it….Page was and will always be my best friend..so when people remember Page, remember something that he taught you. ….he had the upmost patience for people who WANTED to learn, but no patience for those who didn’t.

So to my friend, I will never say goodbye..only until we meet again
73’s
FUABLF
HKand OS

LYBNS (love ya Baby, no shit)

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

5 Comments

  1. The Page Perrin Project | Free The Animal on August 19, 2013 at 14:57

    […] Update: The Page Perrin Project Part 2: The Memorial […]

  2. tatertot on August 19, 2013 at 18:53

    Glad yer back.

    See ya in hell.

    Tim

  3. Sandy on August 19, 2013 at 19:30

    I love reading about his life after he left the Bay Area. Thank you for providing this mystery time.

    Patrice & Sonya, my daughters, were about 4 & 5 when we moved in with Page in his Montclair home on Thornhill Drive. He was the only real father they remember, their own father didn’t spend much time with them. So Page to them is their dad and will always be their dad. I found out from Sonya’s husband today that Page sent them birthday cards every year after he moved to Hat Creek. Sonya will be most affected from his loss. They both invited him to their weddings to give them away, he said he was too much a hermit to leave his mountain and didn’t come. A hermit doesn’t have this many friends, people that respect and care for him.

    I chatted with him on AIM regularly from the time he got his computer and MS Flight till about 10 years ago when I got into a new relationship, started kiting & competing with the Bay Area Stunt Kite League and our interaction sort of fell by the way side. Still around his birthday I would Google him, looking for new bits and pieces of his life up there. He loved flying so much. I’m so happy that he ended his life doing the thing he loved the best.

    I was with him when he started being a monkey on a sidecar, exciting times for us, I have pictures somewhere, going to Sears Point and watching him monkey around.

    Reading the recent posts about his life I find it interesting that he got into stained glass. I would love to see pictures of what he did. You see I took some lessons on making stain glass while living with Page and worked in his workshop beside him while he built things, the bed we shared, the couch – tired of living in the land of Lilliput, he would grumble as he built everything to fit his tallness. Being only 5’3″ myself I learned to deal with living in a land of largeness. I helped by making the cushions for that giant couch. Everything he made was so perfect. “Measure twice, cut once” motto. I have two bookcases with the circle-P mark, his only signature, one oak box, a clip and a bowl, some of my treasures. So to hear that he took up stain glass just makes me all giggly inside. Like our connection was still there though we lived long and far apart.

    Once he told me, everything we do makes memories, memories we can enjoy as we age. Well I was just about to give him a call, to thank him for the memories he gave myself, Patrice & Sonya.

    The day after he passed was the annual Berkeley Kite Festival here in Berkeley. I flew in competition for the first time in a couple of years. I didn’t know till yesterday he was gone. Funny that while flying my ballet I had a glimmer of thought about Page and his hang glider. Interesting how the first time I met him he was flying a trashbag kite off of Bernal Hill at the microwave station. So though our lives parted in such away, we still had a connection the belies time and distance.

    Thank you all for being his friends, sharing his life with him, giving him so much joy & happiness. Thank you for sharing the Hat Creek part of his life with us. I hope Spot and his other rescues will be well taken care of. He had Phred when we lived with him.

  4. Pat Laher Seminatore on August 21, 2013 at 10:53

    Page was all of the above and more. Its interesting how all are lives past through his touch. Thank you, 1969 today and forever in our heart and souls he lives. Sore with the eagle, dear one!

  5. Richard Nikoley on August 21, 2013 at 11:33

    Huge update to the post from yet another woman. 🙂

    Includes pics, even one of him being a sidecar monkey.

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