René Adriaansen 05122006 | April 18 2024
René Adriaansen 05122006 | April 18 2024

René Adriaansen (†05/12/2006)

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February 22, 2013, 3:31 pm
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Details

78
Years, (
September 9, 1928
December 5, 2006
)
NATURAL
,
België

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René Adriaansen 05122006 | April 18 2024
Till Always
February 22, 2013, 4:44 pm
Home I’m not sure I ever had a class with Mr. Bazarini, save for perhaps one or two substitutions where he had us do our homework quietly at our desks. On a rare occasion, Baz would conduct Middle School assembly amongst the grey steel lockers on the third floor. His voice wasn’t the sonorous mine-deep Harvard peal of Mr. Austin who usually led the brief powwow, but it had a distinct timbre. It was deep but muffled, as though his perfectly white beard somehow softened the sibilants as they emerged. He would lean casually on the upright piano, making a few announcements in a way that made them seem off-handed, but never unimportant. On one particular such day, just before excusing us to our first-period English classes, Baz mentioned that he had found a watch that a boy had asked him to hold onto for recess or gym, and never reclaimed. He reached into the outside pocket of his ever-present blazer (it was usually wool or tweed, and almost never navy blue like ours), and pulled out a shiny wristwatch. He couldn’t remember who it was from, or even from when but, always trusting in the honor of boys, he said that all the owner needed to do was claim it. We all joked that it was clearly ours, but no one piped up in earnest. He replaced the object into his jacket and bid us to class. At some point that morning, I walked out of my homeroom, headed to the bathroom. In the few moments that I was standing on the carpet of the main hall, Baz was walking through. “Here, Davidson,” he said in his unrushed manner, “this is for you.” He handed me the watch, smiled when I thanked him, and kept walking. Before that very second, I had no reason to suspect that Baz had any idea who I was; I’d had virtually no direct contact with the man before then. The watch was a Timex of indeterminable age: stainless steel with a white face and black deco numbers protected by a slightly scratched bubble of Perspex. It declared its task with plain black hands, like paper matchsticks, crossed by a slim second hand whose staccato sweep was kept active by winding the knob every morning. I’d never had a watch that needed winding, and the quotidian ceremony fascinated me. The band was also stainless – the kind that expands in a lattice of springs. It tore out the few downy hairs I had on my ten-year-old wrist and, after a time, I seldom wore it. Over the last 20 years, from college and a semester abroad, back to New York and even moving states (and back to New York again), the watch has followed me, usually residing in the drawer of a nightstand or desk. It has little monetary worth, and self-winding watches are affordable and convenient now. A few months ago, the watch found its way to the top of my drawer and I bought a new cloth band for it. I was wearing it when I heard that Baz had died. I checked the time and, though the news made me sad, I smiled just a bit.
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René Adriaansen 05122006 | April 18 2024
Till Always
February 22, 2013, 4:49 pm
Assembly I’m not sure I ever had a class with Mr. Bazarini, save for perhaps one or two substitutions where he had us do our homework quietly at our desks. On a rare occasion, Baz would conduct Middle School assembly amongst the grey steel lockers on the third floor. His voice wasn’t the sonorous mine-deep Harvard peal of Mr. Austin who usually led the brief powwow, but it had a distinct timbre. It was deep but muffled, as though his perfectly white beard somehow softened the sibilants as they emerged. He would lean casually on the upright piano, making a few announcements in a way that made them seem off-handed, but never unimportant. On one particular such day, just before excusing us to our first-period English classes, Baz mentioned that he had found a watch that a boy had asked him to hold onto for recess or gym, and never reclaimed. He reached into the outside pocket of his ever-present blazer (it was usually wool or tweed, and almost never navy blue like ours), and pulled out a shiny wristwatch. He couldn’t remember who it was from, or even from when but, always trusting in the honor of boys, he said that all the owner needed to do was claim it. We all joked that it was clearly ours, but no one piped up in earnest. He replaced the object into his jacket and bid us to class. At some point that morning, I walked out of my homeroom, headed to the bathroom. In the few moments that I was standing on the carpet of the main hall, Baz was walking through. “Here, Davidson,” he said in his unrushed manner, “this is for you.” He handed me the watch, smiled when I thanked him, and kept walking. Before that very second, I had no reason to suspect that Baz had any idea who I was; I’d had virtually no direct contact with the man before then. The watch was a Timex of indeterminable age: stainless steel with a white face and black deco numbers protected by a slightly scratched bubble of Perspex. It declared its task with plain black hands, like paper matchsticks, crossed by a slim second hand whose staccato sweep was kept active by winding the knob every morning. I’d never had a watch that needed winding, and the quotidian ceremony fascinated me. The band was also stainless – the kind that expands in a lattice of springs. It tore out the few downy hairs I had on my ten-year-old wrist and, after a time, I seldom wore it. Over the last 20 years, from college and a semester abroad, back to New York and even moving states (and back to New York again), the watch has followed me, usually residing in the drawer of a nightstand or desk. It has little monetary worth, and self-winding watches are affordable and convenient now. A few months ago, the watch found its way to the top of my drawer and I bought a new cloth band for it. I was wearing it when I heard that Baz had died. I checked the time and, though the news made me sad, I smiled just a bit.
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