Remembering Jake Ridgeley Duvall

To remember Jake, enter in the comment section below.

Jake before rafting the Kennebec in northern Maine
Jake on a hike in the White Mountains in June, 2018 with Bruce Berk, Steve Johnson and Gene Ward,
Jake preparing one of his masterful dinners at gathering of the Merry Band of Wanderers in Whitefield, NH in August 2018.
Jake under the summit of Mount Adams in June, 2018.
Jake kayaking in northern New Hampshire
Jake and Gene Ward sharing a laugh before rafting the Kennebec in Maine. A bemused JD Martin looks on.
Jake styling the ATV gear in northern New Hampshire
Jake’s Song, written and performed by Collins Lein

3 Comments on “Remembering Jake Ridgeley Duvall

  1. Jake and I ran together a bit at Mount Hermon as we saw humor and absurdity in similar things.

    He became a regular attendee at our annual gatherings of The Merry Band of Wanderers where he missed only our most recent weekend.

    Jake was notoriously tardy. For instance, he arrived at our 2018 weekend after all went to bed. He climbed into the remaining bunk that had been short sheeted by Hargreaves (I think). Of course, we could hear him coming. Only God and he knew what kind of engine was under the hood of his Audi.

    In our third year of these gatherings, we went from a two-night, three-day format to a three-night, four-day weekend. It better suited those who traveled further and gave us more time to unwind after a day of play. Jake stepped up to prepare one of the three dinners.

    Now, these was not your average run-of-the-mill camp dinners. These were over-the-top gastronomical adventures that took us to Indonesia and beyond.

    In working out the calendar with Jake, he’d be assigned first night (Thursday) as my forcing function to get him there by Friday night. (My scheduled Friday night meal was at the ready for Thursday night.)

    Usually during cocktail hour on Thursday night, I’d get a call from Jake. The calls went something like this…

    “Hey, it’s Jake.”
    “Where are you?”
    “I’m cooking.”
    “In your car?”
    “No, I’ve been cooking all day. I’ll be there tomorrow night. I had to drive all over town to find fresh lemongrass and that put me a little behind.”

    So, Friday night was Jake night.

    We were better men for knowing Jake. He was a true joy to be around and a great friend.

  2. We all know Jake was a force of nature. Always I have described him as a Renaissance man – a true connoisseur of ideas and a million disparate factoids At other times, I have suggested that he was born in the wrong century and seemed better suited to be a 19th century aristocrat. He knew so much stuff, not all practical, and punctuality was not a concept that made much sense to him.

    Two recent stories that are classic Jake. In the June 2018 four of us (Gene and Steve Johnson) did an overnight hike in the Whites. At dinner that night, Jake offered a huge variety of tidbits, and two stick with me. I think both are pure Jake. The first one was Jake remarking on the salt at the table. He was off and running expounded on at least ten different kinds of salt and their respective merits. The second story concerns Carlos Casteneda. If you do not know about him, not to worry. He was a Californian anthropologist who in the 1960s and 1970s wrote a number of books on indian shaman, and his time with them. In particular, he focused his efforts on their use of hallucinogenic drugs, and their ability to enter another existence. Many of us were serious fans of his, and read (followed??) all of his practices. I told Jake that in my retirement I had reread his first books to see if they still resonated. Jake then asked if I remembered this episode with a particularly powerful hallucinogenic seed concoction, and then told me he tried to replicate this scene keeping a journal after eating this mixture, ended up passed out with his dad finding and then taking him to the hospital. Classic.

    The second story. After one of our hikes we agreed to meet at lunch at a particular time. Jake invited me to travel with him. About ten minutes into the drive I saw a side road and remarked “lets check it out,”and away we went for 20 or 30 minutes and arriving very late for lunch.

  3. Beautiful, beautiful song Collins!
    Yes, that smile of his was certainly special.
    He will always be young, handsome and the boy with the most beautiful handwriting to me!
    DeeDee Fisher Despo

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