I had not heard that Pierce Carson passed away in May and am deeply saddened, and sorry to have missed his memorial last week.
During high school and early college, a group of friends interested in the arts ran The Above-the-Ground Theatre (TATGT)in the hayloft of our family barn on Cuttings Wharf Road. For the first three years, I could not get editor Ross P. Game to cover our film showings and other activities in The Napa Register.
Though we were friendly, he told me he was certain that we were "smoking dope and showing porno"---the furthest thing from what was happening. Even when my parents invited him to be their guests, he refused.
One summer night in 1968, a new patron came to a movie. He had seen a flyer at the library. After the show, he asked why we didn't send press releases to the Napa Register and I explained that we did and the lack of results.
Pierce introduced himself as the new Arts and Culture Editor and said that he was going to assign writer Bernice Dunn to do a story on TATGT for the new Saturday Leisure section that Mr. Game would not see until it was printed.
Pierce rarely missed our events, and in later years I would see him at arts events in Napa, San Francisco and Berkeley on a regular basis. He always had time to chat during intermissions and we exchanged updates on our activities. He had become close to my parents, Eleanor and Wesley Meyer, and missed them when they passed away.
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During the past year, I had not seen him at theater opening nights in the city and wondered if he was OK. But I saw occasional articles were still appearing into early spring. I should have called or written to him but somehow our best intentions do not always become reality -- and then it is too late.
And now I miss him so very much, reading the fine tributes published in the Napa Valley Register, especially Sasha Paulsen's wonderfully written obituary and the insightful column by Kevin Courtney. I, too, am known for a messy desk. Knowing that Pierce and I shared that trait makes me feel that I was doing something right.
Thank you, Pierce, for all that you did for the Valley.