Bozeman, MT

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:58:56 05/23/19

In Reply to: Loon Roll call - in memory of Bonnie and other Loons posted by albee

Definitely need to give a shout out to B.J. Earle. She assisted us on several Loonions over the years, and last August, along with KenT, helped me orchestrate an all day Commemoration of the Flight of the Nez Perce through Yellowstone in 1877 for the Yellowstone 365 Meetup. B.J. created the memory book, based on the Alison Memorial, a copy of which resides in the Yellowstone Archives in the Heritage Research Center (HRC). The other copy was given to Alison's family. B.J. was a "giver", always volunteering to help in any way she could.

Now, for Bonnie, Precious Bonnie. What a character! I think I first met her and Lea at a bear jam on Swan Lake Flat in 2000 or 2001. The last time I was in Bonnie's presence was in February of 2011, at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge, in the company of ALR and her spouse. I have a photo from that day, but since Photobucket started charging fees, I have no way to mount it.

Over time, I watched Bonnie engage in so many positive changes in her life, tackling the weight issue being but one of them. I am sure I am not aware of the totality of all the effort she poured into her art and photography, but I watched her make significant progress over time. Then there is the attitude improvement. It is so unfair that her payback for all that effort was the disease that took her life. I know that there are many Loons who contributed to Bonnie's positive changes. Some simply provided encouragement and positive feedback. Others played more significant roles. I thank all of you for having played your part.

There are so many aspects of who Bonnie was that I will hold dear in my memory of her, but of all those attributes, the one that will stand out over time was her willingness to open up on whatever subject she was feeling passionate about, share it with all of us, and the passion in her expression. It was as if James Musgrove bequeathed the passion he felt for grizzly bears to Bonnie, and it just amplified the fire she already had in her belly.

Over time, we commiserated about the cancer that was trying to destroy us, and tried to provide moral support to each other. I felt a dark hole opening when Bonnie made the decision to exercise her right to declare "No mas" regarding heroic attempts to save her life, and die with dignity. Now, it feels like a big, dark void.

Thanks Greg, for the effort you put into recognizing the passing of Yellowstone Loons.

Thanks John, for creating and maintaining these pages, which provide the "social glue" that helps hold the Loon community together.

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