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Arnold Livingston would have been 62 on October 22, 2012. As luck would have it, instead he left us, suddenly and way too soon, in July.
Arn's birthday was a decades-old local holiday. He'd start the festivities with the perennial stop at the old Den, some neighborly visits and a "meetin'"or two through the day, ending with that (in)famous party on Warren’s West Hill late into the night.
This year, though, any celebration is clouded with sorrow, as the permanence of the loss settles in, and like the autumn cold closes the door on summer, the quiet on West Hill reminds us that he's gone for good.
No more Zappa blaring from the open windows, no more Arn at the door, a big welcome wave as you'd drive by. Gone, too, are the offers of help… Bringing down an old tree or two for a neighbor, dogsitting (or helping search for one), baking cookies just right for a pal, or just showing up to lend a hand and share a few stories.
No more deep and happy “Hey there!” from the big-bellied, broad-grinning, pony-tailed, bandana-headed hippie; no more phone calls answered with that trademark booming and confounding “Bwanalakkapeeka!” But what memories.
Arnold, Arn, Arnie, Arno, Arnerd, Belly Man, Zappa Boy, Happy Birthday to my pal, to our pal….Our pal, Arnold.