His poor old body was a shipwreck but his eyes were the eyes of a ten year old. He was grizzled, failing eyesight, slightly stooped but inside he was still a kid. He never complained.
Twice a week he would take the city bus from his house on the hill down to the water to the Santa Barbara Sailing Center to rent a rowing scull. It was white with two long oars and included a rear view mirror so that he would not bump into anything.
He loved that little boat and everyone who saw him were delighted to see him having such a fine time. He pretty much stayed in the marina as the waters in the SB channel can get a little choppy.
Once his little boat had been lowered and he had been assisted into the boat he would grasp the oars and set out with a rhythmic pattern feel the pressure on his legs, enjoying the easy movement over the water. He was reminded of his boat on the river in Connecticut and as a boy he would take it out just about every day in the summer. As he got older he built a Lightening with his dad and they sailed it on the Sound. As a grown man he graduated into a 39-foot ketch and often sailed with his family. He never lost his love of the water, such a soothing effect on an overworked creative mind.
His life was a metaphor for open waters, choppy and even at times chaotic but he always managed to get safely back to port. At times he wavered into unknown waters to test his skill but returned to his dock with the knowledge that he should stick to his known routes.
He was adored at the local watering holes with his positive nature and gregarious personality.
He was a sailor at heart right up until the end. His little boat is at dock now, filled with white rose pedals a testament to his life.
RIP Jerry Ward 1932-2016