I wish I had proper words right now, but the tears just wont stop flowing. I am sorry for the jumble in my thoughts, but I needed to write something.
Tonight I heard of the passing of an amazing man: Mark Feldmann. This is a man who, when he heard that I had a desire to recreate tortoise brooches from a viking age Pskov Russian find, he jumped to help me. At his toutelage, I learned many things and made my first pair of brooches. He worked with me every step along the way, gave me advice, showed me pictures, documentation, everything. He started my interest in metal work.
He gave me a wonderful gift of a hand sculpted metal comb from a Novgorodian find that I wear often when in my Russian persona. But this is not as wonderful as the gift of his enthusiasm, excitement, and joy in crafting. The idea that "you know you are sick when you make your own tools for your hobbies" came from him, and I often quoted him on it.
He drove quite the distance, just so he could set up shop and volunteer hours upon hours in front of his home-made forge at the small renfaire that opened up near here, just for the look on kids faces and knowing he was making a difference. We talked about it this year and he said he hoped to continue doing it for a long time.
It is hitting me severely hard that he is gone. My heart goes out to his wife Maggie Allen and all his friend and family that are stunned and in tears tonight. He was a legend in his own right with a huge heart, always willing to do anything he could to make someone's day that much more.
There is a huge hole where he once stood. No one can take his place. But I, for one, will never forget the man. Memories will live on forever. Yvan, you will never know what a change you made in Johann's life. He still talks about the day he sat watching you forge at the fair.
With love, always, rest in peace.