Thursday, August 31, 2017

Albert Marsh (1930-2017)

Leslie and I were very saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Albert Marsh.  We met Albert and his husband Johnnathan through an accident of real estate when they moved into the house next door.   That was nearly 25 years ago.  For a few years our lives met figuratively and literally over the back fence.  They became our adopted family, a relationship which has persisted in the years since we moved away from that street.

Albert grew up in a Texas border-town and, after college in the fifties, settled in New York City, then San Francisco and finally in Los Angeles which is where he met Johnnathan.  He worked as an architect and designer.  He was also an artist.  I really like his geometrical three-dimensional paintings - or maybe they should be called wall sculptures.  Later in life he became interested in shamanism, drumming and designing jewelry.  Some of his art and his necklaces can be seen in the pictures below.

Here's a caricature by the otherwise unidentified B.J. from Albert's time in San Francisco.  Then an apparently blissful moment I snapped over dinner one recent evening.

Here are two shots of Albert visiting our home.  In the first he is sitting with Leslie's Aunt Rose.  In the second he is investigating my new iPad, completely unaware that he is shooting selfie after selfie with his thumb.  Later I combined the shots into this animated gif.

A Halloween costume and striking a pose in his backyard.

Leslie and I send our profound condolences to Johnnathan Korver, Albert's husband.  Johnn wrote about Albert on Facebook and he kindly gave me permission to reproduce his thoughts here:
Dear Friends—It is with extreme heartbreak that I write this post today. My beloved husband, Albert Marsh passed away quietly and comfortably early yesterday morning. As I knew he was transitioning soon, I held his hand and played his favorite music with my IPad placed on his pillow. He was listening to some Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and Karen Carpenter.
Albert and I have been together since March of 1989. We had a commitment ceremony in June of 1994 and were married in Pasadena, Ca in March of 2014, two days before our 25th Anniversary. 
As many of you know I always referred to him as My Sweet Albert. Although we were 19 years apart, our two generations were perfectly matched as we learned so much about each others experiences, and opinions. He was a spiritual being with so much to teach me. One of the first things he taught me was to not define myself by tragic experiences and take responsibility for being the only one to be able to change my circumstances should I not like them. I’m certainly one to bitch and moan about the same thing too many times. He said to me quite clearly, “if this is a new story or problem, I’d be glad to listen and perhaps give some advice…if it’s something I’ve heard before, and you haven’t done anything about it, I’m not interested in hearing it”. That’s great advice.
Thank you all for the wonderful and kind emails, messages and phone calls. I’m truly touched by them and I know he would be too. So take care of one another, listen to one another, and work together to solve problems and issues that put you both on the same page. Write your life screenplay together and Star in the Film of your lives. You will be rewarded with The Academy Award of your life.
Oh and one other thing, put the hammer, nails and other tools away after you’re done using them…..Trust me on this one.  I love you all.

Once same-sex marriage became legal, Albert and Johnnathan held their marriage ceremony in our living room.   To commemorate the event and to thank us, they gave us this work by Albert.  Everyday the beautiful piece reminds us of him and of the happiness he and Johnn shared.  On the back it says:

"Twin Flames" collage by Albert Marsh, circa 1985
Reframed February 29, 2014
to David and Leslie
From Johnnathan and Albert
On the occasion of our wedding day
March 1, 2014

One more picture because of the big smiles - Albert and Leslie making a ring around the tree.


Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing these memories, it was very beautiful!!

Unknown said...

beautiful tribute !!!

Unknown said...

beautiful tribute