At 10:37am on April 27th, 2008, Angel Stork said…
Since I am working at and on home today, and not likely to interact with anyone else, todays gift will be to me and to this giving community. I wish to share a story with you, one that has and continues to inspire me.
Manuela introduced me to her husband, Bob, more than 5 years ago. I got to know him a little over dinner on a few occasions. Bob had led an long career as a talented designer and renowned engineer, then had been in active retirement for more than 20 years. Upon retirement, Bob bought a boat.
For nearly 25 years, Bob went to work everyday on this boat, just like going to a job. He tinkered and transformed this boat into the bones of a floating restaurant. After 20 years, Manuela was getting anxious about Bob being able to finish his dream in this life. Bob was getting old, the work was going slowly, and the money to secure their future was ebbing with the tide.
Manuela put her foot down about 2 years ago, Bob must sell the boat. Manuela found the perfect buyer in Mike, who immediately saw the potential in Bob's boat and grabbed the opportunity to make it happen.
Three weeks ago today, Bob's dream was celebrated with the grand opening of "The Sherman", a beautifully restored and appointed floating restaurant, anchored just south of the SF Airport. Mike took 2 years to build a restaurant into the boat, with his new friend, Bob, coming down every day to help with the engineering, the tinkering, the designing, the details. Mike had even named the boat after Bob, and included a small museum space to display the boats' history and feature it's former owners.
At the celebration, chatting Bob for a while, I told him I could imagine he must be very proud to see his dream come true. I am certain I was not the only one to admire Bob that day for holding on to his dream and vision for this boat, and for letting it go to just the right people who could pull this project over the finish line.
The next day, Monday, Bob Sherman was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. He rallied on Tuesday, but by Wednesday it was clear he was slipping away. He died Thursday morning surrounded by family.
I attended his memorial last weekend and it was clear that Bob left us all happy for him, a little sad to lose him, but as satisfied as he must have felt at the end, by the depth and breadth of his fully-lived life.
He was a beautiful, giving man who left a legacy of endurance we can all learn from.
Robert M. Sherman, celebrating life from November 3, 1915 to April 10, 2008. History and information about this boat can be found at www.theshermanrestaurant.com.
At 5:26pm on March 31st, 2008, Angel Stork