May 5, 2017, Prescott-
I am freshly returned from a visitation for one of Prescott’s genuine champions.The concept of waking, a seemingly odd term for remembering a departed soul, prior to burial or often, in these days, cremation, is perhaps in hopes that death is not a real thing.
I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but the life of Jayme Salazar (he pronounced his name alternately in English and in Spanish), came back before those listening to the eulogies.His childhood and adolescent antics, presented by his older sister, were reassuring to all, that a full life proceeded from that awkward time. A lifelong friend of his recounted the man’s intense work ethic, combined with a genuine love of people, which established his Taco Don’s Restaurant as one of the city’s premier lunch venues, and a true gathering place.
He came came here from California, by way of Las Vegas, as so many of us have come here from farther afield. Jayme found that the mountains, lakes, dells and grasslands of the area, but above all, the earthiness of the people, were a capturing force. That he gave his life here, in the shadow of Granite Mountain, was the ultimate giving back.
Some six years ago, I saw my beloved wife go homeward, to the Light, in a more prolonged way, but not dissimilar period of service to the children and general citizenry of a western suburb of Phoenix. Any home in which we ever lived together was open to countless people. Any school in which she ever worked was the center of our married life, with work and love likewise moving in tandem.
So, I understood, fully, standing in the anteroom of the funeral home, this evening, that priceless spirit, that brings casual customers and acquaintances of a loving soul to a sense that here moved a lifelong friend; here lived a steadfast pillar.
To each one to whom I’ve bid farewell, these many years, let me close with the voice of Enya.
Jayme, Penny, Norm, Dad, Brian, Colonel Mortimer, Uncle George, Aunt Adeline, Margaret, Mike C. and so many standing beside you, in the Legions of Light, thank you, for having lit my way and for lighting the night.