I found out recently from a friend in SF that Don Jones passed away this past January.
Don clawed his way out of homelessness and dark times in the Tenderloin and was a staple along Polk Street in Russian Hill, selling the homeless newspaper Street Sheet. He always brought a smile to the faces of those who passed within his orbit. And for those fortunate enough to get to know him more, he perpetually offered a profound sense of positivity and genuine kindness. Our conversations reminded me on numerous occasions of the stupidity of the gripes looping around in my head and of the preciousness of life.
Before I left for this trip, I made a deep clean of my apartment. One of my treasured objects was that SF Giants hat Don is wearing above. I bought my mom that hat to wear as her chemotherapy kicked in and passed it on to Don so she could look out for him while I was gone. She took care of a lot of people and he looked after a lot of people in his own way. They are kindred spirits and spiritual reminders to appreciate the moment and the space between the moments every day.
RIP amigo. You live on in all of us who were incredibly fortunate to know you.