Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Knight to Remember

Mickey Pico memorial inset
    It took a while, and a few tense negotiating sessions, but this summer Oakmont augmented their generic bronze headstone with a marble extension that provides a fitting memorial for Mickey Pico.  As you can see from the photo, the memorial now uses "Mickey," the name we all knew him by, mentions three of his sterling qualities, and features an inset picturing Mickey Bagel Bistro, the pride and joy of his career.

    The family offered many suggestions about verbiage, including "Crazy Generous'" and "Sold the Best Bagels in Juneau."  But there's little room on a headstone to develop a theme.  Even a haiku would be wordy, and a bit absurd, as if you're trying to argue with death.  To me, the ostentatious tombs are some of the saddest places in Oakmont.

Mickey Pico memorial, with inset on upper right.
The headstone is easy to read when you're
actually there, despite the oak tree shadows.
    It was a hard decision.  "Warmly Generous Caregiver" made the cut, to acknowledge his care for our mom, Esther G. Pico, during the last difficult years of her life.  And the way he could not pass by pandhandlers without giving them something, always something that rustled, never something that clinked.

    "Merchant" is on there, because "Entrepreneur" and "Street Merchant" didn't quite do it — in this case, less really is more.

    And last but not least, "Loved the Open Road," because he did, all his life.  From the he was a boy traveling with our dad, Charlie Pico, across the U.S. and Canada in his annual circuit of rodeos and fairs; to his adult life, traveling around like a knight errant, committed to living his ideals the way some people are devoted to paying off their mortgage.

   Mickey Pico, big-hearted paladin, lover of the physical world, R.I.P.

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