remembering bear

Friday, January 15, 2010

My good friend, tasting buddy and fellow musician Mark ‘Bear’ Silverstein passed away yesterday. He was 53 – too soon – and had been suffering from a series of strokes that began a little more than three years ago. Bear had a lot of talents, which he shared most generously. The basement of his home, where I spent some happy hours rehearsing with our band, was a combination music room, record library and wine cellar. Bear had copious amounts of everything – especially music gear, records and wine – all of which he delighted in sharing with his many friends.

We met about 15 years ago, when he and his wife joined our West Seattle tasting group. A few years later, Bear jumped into the wine business, purchasing West Seattle Cellars from Matt Mabus. But it was as fellow musicians that we became really close. When I decided, after a 20 year absence from live performing, to begin again, it was Bear who joined me onstage for that first, nerve-wracking gig. The photo above shows him that day, with his trademark double-neck guitar.

Then and many times after, he and I shared a stage. He was always a comforting presence, a man with gifted fingers who could play with the speed and agility of his idol, Jerry Garcia. When it became all too clear this past holiday season that Bear was not going to be able to recover from this latest stroke, this website BearJournal was the place where friends could send prayers and memories. It will now serve as a communications vehicle for future plans to celebrate his life. When I visited it a few days ago, I couldn’t help but think of the words from a song we’d played together on many occasions – an old Grateful Dead tune called Ripple. “If I knew the way, I would take you home...”

Bear has found his way home. God rest his soul.


EastMeetsWest said...

My heart goes out to you and the family in this difficult time. I got this in an e-mail today and thought of your blog entry...

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need
you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has
come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Peter Rosback said...

Bear was a great fellow. Sorry to hear of his passing. Let us know what we can do for his wife and beautiful child.

Anonymous said...

Love to Bear and his family...He will be missed

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