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A tribute to a friend

Peter Linnier

The passing of Gordon Smith, a man of gastronomic expertise, must not go unsung. Through a quirk in the legal process, which occurred with a fellow senior, I had a bonding with a client that made my life more interesting than I could have imagined in 88 years of living . . . 14 years in Nevada County. I met and bonded with Gordon Smith.

Gordon Smith was a friend, first, and a client, last. Over a period of years there occurred a series of coincidences by which our paths met. He was the chef at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., and the renowned chef at the St. Francis in San Francisco. In recent years he became the gourmet chef at the Holbrook Hotel in Grass Valley, the New Moon Cafe in Nevada City, where the Official Court peers took their noon repose, and the consulting chef at Maria’s. His specials of soups and salads were also featured at Friar Tucks.

At the bequest of our chairperson, Fred Hillerman, with whom he was engaged in hiking and other activities of the German-American Club, he became a chef at the Senior Center.

Gordon had a thing about the sonnets; the rubaiyats, etc. Since philosophy was my minor long ago, it was our habit to begin some quotation by one of us and follow it with an ending by the other. I will, therefore, end this with a quote from John Donne: “Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and, therefore, never ask to know for whom the bell toll…. It tolls for thee.”

Peter Linnier

Grass Valley

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