I lived in Blue Lake off and on for several years of my pre-teen childhood. My brother and I went to the local school there, I remember how once Danas dad subbed for one of my classes and played Hawaiian music. For a time we even lived right across the street from Stardoughs.
Now the one thing I will never forget about Dana is his extremely kind spirit.
I didn’t have a particularly healthy upbringing, my mom was always gone or spending money irresponsibly on who knows what. One summer for whatever reason she decided to open up a tab at Stardoughs instead of getting groceries. I must have been about 12 and my brother was 4, that was all we ate for most of the summer.
A couple years later after I had moved out and my mom had skipped town I realized she had never payed the tab back. I worked for quite a while to save up enough money but when I got there and explained to Dana the situation he just paused what he was doing and smiled at me. It was the most baffled smile i have ever seen, mixed with such empathy as if to say ‘you silly thing’.
He told me “Oh no, that’s okay” and I could tell he truly meant it.
He is always in my memory as such an enigmatic and kind person, without that summer I don’t know where I would be not only because of the physical nourishment it provided but the emotional impact that has influenced me in my life. I wish I could have told him that he completely changed my life and without that interaction I may never have turned out nearly as okay as I am now.