Chip Stewart was a friend of mine
and I can barely remember all the things we did together over the past 27 years… and I know people who’ve been bumping around with him longer than that…
He’s been a friend who, after many attempts, saved my life. I wish I could have returned the favor. Once we tried to save each others lives by taking a trip to Isle Royale. I left my cigarettes behind and he left behind his overeating. We hiked and breathed the fresh air to rid ourselves of life-threatening toxins. We were in our 30’s. As soon as we got back on the mainland we ate a big pizza. We drove 30 mph and felt like we were flying. A few days later I smoked another Marlboro.
When I first met Chip, his daughter Tina was a young teenager named Beaver. She became pals with my favorite daughter and the rest is history. I can’t believe these daughters are now middle-aged women getting mammograms and colonoscopies and the cancer screening to find what is in our genes and is also a part of our lifestyle…
Chip had a keen eye and great curiosity for the psychedelic, but I could never get him to smoke a jay… he preferred forays into dreamland and intelligensia with Baba Ram Dass and lingering conversations with his friends.
He didn’t care to drink much either. Things were wierd enough for him every time he looked at the normal world. He kept an active creative mind engaged with reading and music and studying… it’s unfortunate he found it such a drag to exercise his body.
Chip was a very generous person. If he had money in his pocket he would flow it into the economy very quickly… he always did what he could to assist whoever would ask, and many people did often, me included. He applied a set of priorities that always puts people first.
By the time he was 30 he was an amazing man. Foster children more than you can count. Cross country motorcycle trips, playing in the band… and so it went into the Ski Patrol years… “Chicks dig us ’cause we ski…” That’s what it said on our T-shirts.
I used to have a hell of a time beating Chip at ping pong. These last few years I thought I might whip him, he was so often weakened. He wouldn’t play me, the coward….
Same thing in the wrestling department. That fat man was mighty strong and there were many times I tried to get him down, but he could always overpower me. I tried to out-wrestle him ’til I started getting hurt and losing too often. During some of those years he studied aikido and learned some moves…
Yep, the stories go on. I’ll be digesting the legacy of Chip Stewart for a long time.
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