I attended the memorial service for my friend, John Gutierrez, last night. He and his family have meant so much to me for many years. It was an evening of old friends, great memories, beautiful music, lots of tears, some laughter and many, many cases of champagne.
Before the memorial started, I had the chance to wander around Clipper Mill and appreciate how integral John has been to the design and overall look of the place. Many of his pieces dot the landscape, which is still buried under a lot of snow.
from the romanesque swimming pool to the kinetic pieces dotting the property, there were memories of John’s work all over the property.As everyone entered John’s 80k square foot studio/workshop, they were greeted by one of the family members, and a waiter handing them a flute of champagne. I thought that this was so emblematic of this great artist – classic with a flair! Note to self: make sure you request this in your funeral planning…
Family members and friends lit 45 candles, one for every year of John’s brief but full life. Memories were shared. Music was played. A brief video was shown. And then the command came: Let’s get this party started! The chairs were pushed back, the rug was rolled up. The bar was opened, dinner was served. And then the band started to rock the house.
I can’t think of a more fitting way to say goodbye to a man who lived life to its very fullest.