Tahoe Pine Nuts: Saying goodbye to Baron von Remmel
July 23, 2015
With the enormous loss of Remmel Wilson, I find myself starting to believe that there are some people who love life too much, who embrace life so tightly that when life lets them down, or they let themselves down, it weighs more heavily upon them than it might weigh upon more common clay.
Baron von Remmel was one of those people. He flew gliders, skied down the avalanche shoots of Mt. Rose, rode his motorcycle on solo sojourns across this great land of ours, and attended Giants baseball games with great esprit de corps.
Remmel brought a good deal of joy to so many of our lives with his gregarious personality, his sublime music, and his wonderful Arkansas sense of humor. He could tell a cow a joke and that cow would laugh out loud.
He was loving, and cared so very much for his wife, Beverly, his children, Jason & Robin, and his legions of friends, many of whom filled the North Tahoe Event Center to capacity last week in commemoration of his Technicolor life.
Beverly delivered a moving eulogy that included a poignant warning against the dangers of adding alcohol to clinical depression.
Her words were a perfect mix of gravitas and celebration of Remmel's remarkable life. She recalled how he would often ask, "Have I told you today how much I love you?"
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Remmel and I spent a couple years bumming around Nevada together, presenting a musical version of "Mark Twain's Nevada."
We spent many a late night swapping stories after the show, and Remmel's tall tales were always a leetle bit taller than Twain's.
But the night that stands tallest in my memory of Remmel was the night he played "Take Five" on Paul Desmond's saxophone at Azzara's.
You could have heard a mouse peeing on cotton when the music stopped. That magical moment knocked the spots out of anything I ever saw and I saw Elvis live.
I have to guess that Remmel wanted to get up to those Pearly Gates just ahead of us, and take delight in being there to punch our tickets, and tell us to follow him … and he would show us around … and gladden our hearts with his music. That's all I can figure.
And if that was in fact his plan, well, we can all look forward to the Baron greeting us up there at those Gates, and saying, "Sorry, Pal, but St. Peter is busy just now, follow me, and remember who loves you most."
Then off we will go, drifting across the vast fields of heaven to the regal refrains of Remmel's romantic rendering, "When a Man Loves a Woman."
That's what I believe. Meanwhile, down here on Earth, Remmel Wilson will be missed. Baron von Remmel will be greatly missed, and the world is poorer in his absence.
Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.
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