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Originally posted by Tim Sayan:
I believe that other than my dad, Aunt Sally, and Uncle Mike, I have known Dan the longest of anyone here. The earliest memory I have, is of Dan pulling me around in a red wagon, in our folks living room at Nietz Ct. (added later; my apologies to Aunt Mary Rose, Cousin Carolyn, Cousin Kathleen, Patty West, Bev Rowe, Dave Rowe, and anyone else I might have missed. )
Back then, we were like most households, our mother stayed at home and we could survive on one income. At Christmas time mother took us downtown to Frederick & Nelson’s for pictures with Santa Clause. Dan and I built forts in the woods behind our house where we played Army, and had a short cut to the Rowe’s house. We did a lot of trailering in our 15’ Shasta with the Skubes & the Chandlers. Dan and I went through cubs & boy scouts together where we went on many hikes and campouts. Dan looked out for his little brother. When Becky was born she got the other big room across from the folks, Dan, the dog, and I moved into the smallest remaining room. Later Dan’s first big Fender amp took up almost as much room as our dresser.
In 1962 our folks bought a lot on Mason Lake alongside the Rowe’s and the Skube’s. We mostly only took the trailer there after that, which was just fine with us. Dan, the dog , and I shared a pup tent all summer long. By 1968 the folks had the chalet built and we spent our first Christmas at Mason Lake. Dan and I chopped down a 14’ jack pine, and we drug it to the cabin. It wasn’t really what mother had been use to, but we decorated it anyway. In 1970 the folks added on to the cabin and decided to move out full time. That was fine by me, but I was afraid it was unfair to Dan. Because it meant leaving West Seattle High School to spend his senior year at Shelton High School. Dan went with the flow. He had Steve Peterson who lived next door to show him around Shelton High. Not only did Dan not gripe, but he went beyond just making the most of it. By the end of his senior year he had as many life long friends in Shelton as he did in West Seattle.
Dan spent the next two years touring lounge shows and working at different places around the country, he came back with many good stories to tell. We then started our freshmen years in college at the same time. He was at Evergreen College and I was at the UW. The summer of ‘75, I scored a freebie deal on some logging leftovers, most of which were pecker poles with 6” to 8” butts. So I recruited Dan to help me figure out how to build a log cabin, on a lot Cheri and I started buying the summer before, across the street from the folks house. We hauled the logs on a boat trailer we borrowed, and spent most of July peeling with a draw knife, then we went to work on the foundation and concrete block walls, where the bank had been dug out. By the first of September we were ready to start cutting the logs. The first day we got 3 logs in place. By the time school had started we had the walls up, and the ridge pole in the air. But we came back every weekend we could, until we had the rafters up and the ceiling boards in place. Over Christmas break we got it dried in with tar paper, and had the wood stove operational by New Year’s Eve. That winter on weekends we tracked down cedar bolts, figured out how to operate a fro, and hand split our shacks and had them ready for spring break. One of our neighbors, Lou Donnell, who wrote feature articles for the Huckleberry Harold, took pictures of Dan and me in the loft for the newspaper, and in her article she declared the cabin to be our bicentennial project, which made us proud. Over the years Dan and I came to realize that the log cabin was much more than a project. It was our ultimate brotherly bonding experience and our rite of passage into manhood. Later that summer Cheri and I purchased the cabin next door, so Dan spent that year living in the log cabin.
Needless to say, every time Dan had a project he needed help with, he called me. Starting with their house on Raymond St., he had a friend who was an experienced framer, who told Dan he could frame in a new dinning room in 3 days, we came close. Later we tore off the roofing and added eves, that should have been there in the first place. When they moved to where they are now, the basement was still unfinished. Dan got the rooms framed with the help of a friend, then Dan and I did the wiring, and another friend did the sheetrock.
Then when they bought their beach place on Hammersley, Dan wanted to make sure everything he and Wendy wanted to do got done.
By this time I still hadn’t convinced Dan to be less overly ambitious with his time frames. As a condition of the offer I had him include that the buyer would have the septic system inspected and he could back out if he wanted after that. Well all of a sudden the price started dropping. We started talking to neighbors and found out the owner could only stay out for a couple of days at a time, before the toilet started backing up. So we talked to the owner and figured out where he thought the tank was. My son Jeff and I got under the doublewide and started digging around the four inch plastic pipe knowing it would lead us to the tank. We discovered a broken elbow, due to settling of the fill dirt. That would have been a five dollar fix. Then Dan finally got to the beach place, and I learned that the pump truck was on its way already. We kept digging and got the lid uncovered in the knick of time. The tank had cracks but could be relined. I put the garden hose in the output side and let it run full blast for hours. The drain field was like new. Total fix $750.00. Dan thought he should add that to the offer. I said “no man he already dropped the price $45,000 because he thinks the drain field is shot, we wont mention that part.”
After they took possession, Dan wanted to redo the skirting, we talked that one through, but he, Gabe, and Tom did the work. I helped him make sure his curtain drains were set at the right heights. Then he wanted to remodel the bunk house. He asked me to handle that one for him, but I told him that should be his lad and dad project. I convinced him to burry big enough wires to add a new panel box, and to run a four inch drain from the tank so he could add a bathroom. We worked with our friend, Steve Clark, who had a little backhoe. We added wiring and the drain lines when he was there doing the rockery. Dan and his sons took it from there and it came out great. The last project was redoing the tank lining that Dan paid a pro to do initially. Evidently the pro didn’t get the tank cleaned well enough before he spread the jet-set. Tim Jr. and his friend Vilmos did it right, and Dan was there to monitor.
Dan did good. All his projects are done, done right, and done to last.
Other than going through a phase, when we were adolescents, where Dan didn’t want to always have his little brother tagging along when he had a chance to hang out with the older kids in our neighborhood, Dan and I always got along. Dan was my best man when Cheri and I got married, and I was his when he and Wendy married in the same church. Our kids never missed a Christmas together growing up. And we got together often in between.
A wise man said, if throughout your life, you accumulate five good friends, five you can count on to be there for you, and whom had earned your respect enough, that you would want to be there for them, than that is as good as life gets. Dan was not only my only brother but we were life long good friends. Dan and I had that degree of friendship. I know, at least that many people here, who met that standard of friendship with Dan also.
“Man see you on the other side.”