ForeverMissed
Stories
Shared by Daniel Joseph on October 24, 2010

To say that Bart Rees was a tremendous influence on my life would be an understatement. If anything, I would have to concur that he was a mentor and ultimately a personal hero to me. The myriad of experiences and recollections I have of "the venerable one" are too numerous to mention. But I'll try.

I initially met Bart in June of 1986. I had just moved to Wildwood-by-the-Sea, New Jersey as my parents in a perpetual quest for "the greener grass" had landed my family there. I was all of 15 and still getting my bearings in regards to my new home environs. During a family barbecue one evening, an amiable elderly man who shone with vim and vigor approached our fence. His greeting took me by surprise as I found it intrepid and informal..."I hear you just moved from my former hometown". Wow - just straight to the nitty-gritty, no need for formality and banal pleasantries. Don't get me wrong - Mr. Rees was as genteel and cordial as could be expected. But he possessed a charming candor that both disarmed and intrigued. It was this fleeting encounter that served as my introduction to a man who would play a pivotal role in my life in the years to come. Little did I know at the time.

My interaction with Bart would serve to be intermittent at best for the two years that followed. I do remember once however, being mysteriously drawn to his abode after a then atypical "falling out" with my parents one evening - an ultimately most fortuitous occasion that would lead me to making the acquaintance of someone who would later become one of my closest friends. By 1988, it was clear I would soon find that this locale would become something of a mainstay in my life, affectionately deemed "The Haven of Rest". It was such a place that would serve as a refuge and an oasis from the harried cares of life itself as well as a nexus point for for meeting a good number of others who would also become influential close friends of mine. Needless to say, Bart was ofttimes the fulcrum point of a very encompassing and extensive gestalt of people, places, and things that would always underscore something in my life affairs.

I could always, ALWAYS count on Mr. Rees to offer me sage advice and wisdom, shelter from the storms of life, a proverbial shoulder to cry on, an engaging conversation, a story worthy of the finest raconteurs, and a "bon vivant" bar none. He was as brilliant as he was compassionate and as principled as he was honorable. Mr. Rees was of an independent mindset - someone who embodied the very best of humanity through his individuality. 

Thank You Bart, for all of the benevolence you offered me and so many others along life's way. From the beach rhapsodies and boardwalk vistas...to the tomes of wisdom encapsulated in your personal writings such as "Poems by Bart" - of which in a pact with you I would routinely dispense to the masses in my many travels. From the dinner get-togethers with "the gang"...to the numerous escapades you'd partake in to the chagrin of the more conventionally minded.

You were truly a man for all seasons. Thanks for the memories my perpetual good man...20 years was not enough.   

Sorely and always missed,

"Danny"
 

A Blessed Youth

Shared by Kathryn Martino on October 6, 2010

 My smile says it all!  

For each entire summer of my childhood including most weekends throughout the spring and fall, I would travel to Wildwood with my Grandmother to stay at 107.  During the summers, my parents and siblings as well as my Great Aunt Addy, Uncle Frank, and countless other family friends & relatives would occupy "Uncle Bart's" house.

My memories could not be more pleasant, colorful and vivid.  Countless hours spent on the beach and boards, the overcrowded, happy & always noisy house, lawn darts each night at dusk always followed by countless and extremely competitive games of Scrabble.

As an adult, I look back and realize just how blessed I was.  I lived with six extremely intellectual and diverse adults under one roof.  Each of them provided their own amazing gifts, and Uncle Barts were limitless.

Our discussions were based on philosophy, politics, theology and the like.  From him I learned to understand and love poetry, to appreciate a good book and to realize the value of "being" by simply standing by his side at the edge of the surf, completely silent and awestruck at one of natures greatest masterpieces.  His greatest love...the ocean.

"Let me live by the side of the sea, where the ocean's roar runs free...the tingling wind sings its merry song,, and the happy children play all the day long"

One very happy child,

Kathy 

 

(aka..for Uncle Bart, Adele Monroe   xoxo)

 

 

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