Stories and reflections

A lot of people who don’t know her have told me that they appreciate this blog because it’s helped that get a sense of who Ali was. And even those people in my life who knew her feel they didn’t know her well. It’s not an accident. Ali was a very private person who loathed small talk. Sometimes when we’d talk I’d play both parts in the conversation just to tease her and remind her of the fundamentals of social interaction (it never worked). But behind that quiet exterior and those ever-rolling eyes was a vibrant, brilliant, passionate, silly person, a kind and conscientious friend and citizen and a restless spirit with the soul of a real adventurer.

But I know that there’s much more that I don’t know about my sister. I wanted to invite anyone who has a story, a reflection, a picture, a funny, fond (or even not so fond) memory of Ali to share it with all of us here. Email it to me and I’ll post in on the blog. Hopefully it’ll help us all get to know her even better. She would’ve hated that.

Thank you.


10 thoughts on “Stories and reflections

  1. So sorry to hear. What sadness for Luc, the family and all of us. We only knew her for a short time but liked and appreciated the friendship of her and Luc. She is now free of pain and in a better place to await the rest of us. Nick and Catherine Dvorak.

  2. I share in your tragic loss of Ali. I experienced her early life. As I worked on Anne and Jerry’s house over those years I was fortunate to be present from before her birth until her early school years. Those were joyful years by which I will always remember Ali.

  3. I’m one of Ali’s uncles. At some point in time, when Ali was at Mills, shooting out the lights, I heard she was thinking about law school. Because I’m a lawyer, I thought that was pretty cool.

    Sometime thereafter, I called my dear sister Annie at Sea Ranch. Ali answered the phone. We were happy to find each other on the other end of the line, for we didn’t talk all that often. Very directly, she asked me if I enjoyed being a lawyer. After I said yes, she asked me why. I gave my explanation, and she subjected it to a withering cross-examination. Damn!, I thought. She’s not only going to be a fine lawyer, she’s going to be a famous judge. She was then but a junior in college, yet I was already beginning to worry about having to appear in her court.

    Sometime after that she told me she thought it was great that I enjoyed being a lawyer.

    Ali would have been a fine lawyer. But instead, she followed her spirit and passion for dressage, tall ships, the marlinspike, teaching and the sea. She did not dabble in any of these things; she excelled at all of them. And for that I admire her greatly.

    On a very deep level, Ali became the family’s muse for independence and determination. And for that (and much more, of course) we’ll all miss her very, very much.

  4. Dear Ali,
    I will sadly miss you and will always remember watching you with admiration, from the deck of the yacht club, as you operated your fine vessels with such grace and quiet confidence.

    Dear Luc,
    I grieve your loss and can only imagine how tough this is, but I trust that you will go deep, to weather this terrible storm and navigate yourself, your families, and friends through to a calmer sea. Ali will always be on watch for you.


  5. Dear Luc,Annie,Jerry,Eric, and all Luc’s and Ali’s extended family.We are deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of dear Ali.Our thoughts are with you now and always.Frank & Judith.
    Below is a favorite poem from Frank
    It seems wherever I go,
    People come into my life or out of it
    Touching me where I can feel
    Then leaving me only a memory,
    Like the gossamer fairy tales of children-
    Easily forgotten,
    And I wasn’t through knowing them.

    How do I know who I am seeing for the last time?
    How do I halt your life to gather and keep all those around you that you’ve known?
    And how do I keep fairy tales from losing their magic?

    Yet come,
    Brush against the walls of my life
    And stay long enough for us to know each other.
    Even though we’ll have to part sometime
    And we both know the longer you stay,
    The more I will want you back when you are gone.

    But come anyway,
    For fairy tales are the happiest stories we ever read
    And great books are made of little chapters.

    -”Fairy Tales” by Chester Swor

  6. I grew up across the street from Luc’s mother Lilli. She and her two sisters became my sisters and their parents were my “other” parents. Since Lilli still lives in the family home and I moved only three blocks away, you can say we have always been neighbors. I saw (and heard about) Luc in many stages of his life, but somehow I never met Ali. I did hear many good reports of her through the years, and their wedding photos confirmed to me the special joy I was told they shared together. This summer Luc included me in a tour of their pinky schooner home and it became clear to me then how proud he was about all that he and Ali had accomplished together. He and Ali were very lucky to have found each other. I hope their love will be a comfort and strength to Luc in the days and weeks ahead.

  7. To Ali – I will miss you dearly, too soon you departed from us and this earth, but now you rest and suffer no more. I love you, your “pier mom”.

    To Luc – my “pier son” whom I love dearly. This is likely the most heartbreaking and sad moment of your life, and I send all my love and support to you at these desperate hours and days. Please call upon me for support, including just keeping you company, as you heal both physically and emotionally. I am so proud of you both (and you know it). You lived life together in a very vibrant manner and had so much fun together. I pray that the memories will help sustain you.

    To Ali’s and Luc’s families – my crushed heart is saddened for all of you and send my prayers often that the angels of comfort will be sent to help you through these terrible times. Some of you I know, some I don’t, and some I only met at the wedding, but my “pier kids” are very important to me, as they are to you. For those who don’t know, during their teenage years I adopted them as part of my family of “pier kids” and extended my family. Luc, Ali, Paul, and many others are shipmates of mine, and once a shipmate, always a shipmate, through thick and thin.

    Alice Watts

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