Friends gather to honor a life well lived â€” Tim Shibahara
On Aug. 28, my wife and I attended a memorial service for Tim Shibahara in Timber Park (Estacada).
It was, I believe, the most well-attended memorial I recall, with approximately 700 souls from near and far sharing love, respect and admiration for a life so well-lived.
I knew Tim when I was a chair and now member of the executive committee of the Clackamas River Basin Council.
Friends, co-workers and neighbors stepped forward to commend Tim's giving personality, spontaneity, love of life, family and friends, and superlatively effervescent attitude toward everything he approached, be it joining a fraternity at Oregon State University because of its music; to disappearing down a manhole out of (apparently) curiosity; to being the only PGE fish biologist authorized to carry a fly rod on stream inventories while someone else brought a bucket for specimens.
(I especially liked the description of Tim doing back flips from the company's raft during surveys.)
His oldest son may be a carbon copy. As he addressed that crowd of well-wishers and friends, he suddenly stopped, walked to a table with Tim's photos and a few favorite things and grabbed a can of unopened Coors Light…which he cracked open and consumed to the delight of the crowd (and his mother and family).
My message, though, is a little different.
I knew and watched Tim during intense discussions about restoring habitat and salmon, steelhead, lamprey and other fish to his beloved Clackamas River.
He was resolute in purpose, giving feet when we needed inches and on track when the time came (often) for a strong biological voice.
We honored him for his courage during the devastating fires in the upper watershed as he rushed through the flames to his beloved state-of-the-art salmon/steelhead separation facility to shut it down and save fish; then headed back through the flames to help his family and neighbors.
I will test to the limits my memory of Japanese from serving overseas with the Navy in Yokosuka, Japan. This is surely a stretch of that nation's very staid and proper way of saying things Americans so frequently fracture.
But what the hell (as I suspect Tim might put it).
There is a Japanese word I learned one day when I was honored by the rare performance of the Japanese tea ceremony, a quiet, contemplative time explained by the word — Shibui. I believe it refers to a special time, place, artwork or inanimate object (Tim? Inanimate?).
I discarded some translations, as we tend to quickly do these days on social media. "Balance of simplicity and complexity ... new meanings and enriched beauty..."
But then I saw this: "Walks a fine line between … elegant and rough or spontaneous and restrained."
"Shibahara Timu wa Shibuidatta" (Tim Shibaraha was shibui)
He lives in our resolve.
Bill Monroe is a member of the Clackamas River Basin Council.
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