Leo and family,
You helped make Burning Man a special place for my family. We always knew that if we'd forgotten something, Leo had it, that if we were dehydrated, Leo had ice water handy, and, most importantly, if we wanted to have an intelligent conversation, Leo would stay up for hours to talk.
We also fell in love with Anna and the boys. Anna used to come to our camp to escape the horrible state of being with three men, and we embraced her. She joined us on many adventures, helped mentor my young daughter, and always had a smile and adventurous spirit. Anna, if you're reading this, do you remember when we rode out to see some music with Bobby and wound up in the wrong place? I loved riding out with you on a bike and just stopping at every random place to see what they were about and gathering jewelry, stickers, and other swag.
I will be going back to Burning Man this year and plan to put something in the temple to commemorate Leo. He gave my daughter a bottle of booze after we'd left last year. She apparently had a clue what was happening and has saved it. I figure we'll share it with other friends of Leo and include that in what we leave. Someone else has offered to give me a proof of an engineering question he and Leo discussed, which I will also put in there. Anyone else have suggestions? I think I might include a nice set of classic rock, which he loved to blast to counter the obnoxious EDM one hears whomp-whomping all over the playa.
So much love,
Ellen Chase email@example.com
I will always remember the great times we had together. Those early learning days at Lockheed and crazy secret missions. Remember eating at that Spanish restaurants in Old LA where you tried to convince me that those chiles weren't that HOT? I wish we had more of your humor, your insight and your intensity. You chose to do the things you did, not because they were easy but because they were hard....and because you actually could. I confess that it was me who told you about that girl in tech pubs that I wanted to talk to. I remember the day I gave you that application to Ball Aerospace and convinced you to go to Boulder. It really was your kind of place. I remember that one day that I actually drove faster than you and disappeared. In genuine Leo brillance you followed my tires skid marks and still found me. It was a good thing, as you had the wedding rings. We learned, we laughed, we partied, we worked and now we all cry together. I am only steeled by the fact that your pain is over. Did you take your Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe with you... or do I still have it? If so I will treasure it always as I do our friendship. Our love and wishes are with you on your next great adventure. It is in the best traditions of all those who have struggled to have their best work leave Earths gravity to proclaim:
Leo, You have finally achieved escape velocity!
God Speed Leo Diaz! God Speed!
You amazed me the first time we worked together on your zeal for science and math that surpassed my own. I wish you had gotten more orbits around the sun to wander in the alternate universes of mathematical topology and we could have had many more chats on the twists and turns of romance, science, politics, history and philosophy.
Through you I was blessed to be involved in the Kepler mission to prove that exoplanets are commonplace. I enjoyed our many misadventures and will miss you greatly.
I will always be proud to call you my friend.
Goodbye for now Leo. I'll meet up with you again when I too return to formless consciousness. I loved you deeply; the best part of you always stayed with me and inspired me.
I am happy for your release from suffering, finally, and grateful that you walked up to me in a parking lot in New Jersey back in 1985 to say hello.
"We are stardust, we are golden
And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel just like a cog in something turning."
Love, Janet R., Carbondale, CO