The Everglades Adventure - Steve's Everglades Friends Memorial Sail

Flamingo - Florida Bay Sail

All narrative on this page directly from Amelia Bruno's Caring Bridge Journal - THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2008

This year, Good Friday fell on the vernal equinox and would end with a glorious full moon.

Easter was the earliest it has been and will be in our lifetimes.

So we planned Steve’s commemorative sail for Good Friday. He loved the equinoxes.

Every September and March, he would remark on them and give us a lesson on ‘equal night’ and day. This is also a culturally, sacred time observed throughout the world.

This day will hold special significance as the day that the Flamingo family gathered from around the country to recognize Steve’s eternal connection to the Flamingo community and to comfort me in their open arms.

I felt home in a way I have not felt since my family was severed and I was forced to retreat to a new town for our very survival.

So we all gathered throughout that day, catching up on our lives, discussing the dramatic events brought by not one, but two hurricanes that descended on Flamingo and realizing that neither time nor cataclysmic events would ever diminish these friendships forged in countless years of Flamingo winters, that were nourished by warm sunshine, bathed in life giving rains, often punctuated by ferocious mosquitoes but always held laughter, food and music.

Good Friday was no different. Captain Rob sailed us masterfully in a stiff breeze on Florida Bay—Steve’s home away from home. Dolphins joined us.

As the Windfall heeled on each tack, a wide assortment of appetizers shifted from starboard to port feeding those seated on either side. Lovely Caroline served as hostess for those, like me, seated away from the fray.

Though I felt the love in the group, I still feel apart from the world, because my connection has always been that of ‘Steve and Amelia’.

I really still do not know how to be simply Amelia.

Rob and Caroline sang the pirate song and I got Darby on his cell so that he could be with us. Rob remembered not only Steve, but David Lane and Scott Brady, all Flamingo members who succumbed to cancer.

He opened the night up to speeches and we all were silent, too choked up to speak.

I realize now that Steve would have got the ball rolling. He was always first to speak and speak so eloquently and so disarmingly, that others would have the courage and feel the need to share. I had something planned, but the words caught in my throat and I let the serene beauty of the night suffice.

When we returned to the dock, we listened to “The Two of Us” CD.

Steve now joins the ranks of the fiddler/bird warden Guy Bradley, their voices and music may be silent, but their memories and contributions deserve to live on and be commemorated by plaques at the very least.

Former Flamingo Ranger Vic Brown now considers Carl Ross Key 'Robinson Key' for a life altering canoe trip that Kathy, Vic, Steve and I took way back in 1981.

So I will compose my letter seeking that Flamingo VC be named after Steve, but I would be happy for a plaque at the desk or at the aquarium, both places in the words of another Flamingo friend Cathy Cook that are 'so Steve'... A

Windfall Good Friday rollcall: Rob, Sundae and children Emmett, Caroline, Mariah, Mary, Ron and Danny Burg, Ally and Bruce Gantt, Tony and Tina Terry, Bob Showler and Christi Carmichael, Maureen McGee -Ballinger, Patty and Smokey Lane, Ellen Siegel, Tim Downey, Ann Arougle, Pat and Bob Geh, Ruth and Bill Adder, Donna and John Buckley, Rob Paretti, Craig Losby, David Web, Ivan and cousin Steb/Paul who brought the 'Robinson Calusa' sailing canoe that would have made Steve proud and has embarked on a Wilderness Waterway canoe/sailing adventure.

Several visitors arrived dockside when we returned to offer condolences and I know that Cherry, Molly and Jeanette were thinking of us from as far away as Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii.

And to those others who wanted to be here, but could not because life is just like that, you are always with me.

Friends, my extended family, are what may just get me through this to a place where memories sustain and not cause pain.

Amelia Bruno

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