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Old 14 August 2015, 05:03
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Godzilla Godzilla is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: In a Laboratory
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beppo View Post
I normally have no business posting in an SF forum, I was just a Regular Army Joe, but Mr. Tabata was my neighbor and I just found out the news today when another neighbor came and told us.
As a testament to his humility, I can say I knew him for years as simply the friendly old man who regularly came to our house to give us vegetables from his garden. If we didn't see him in person, we'd come home to find a fresh batch in a plastic bag hanging from our doorknob. That was actually how it was the last time I saw him about a month ago: Through my living room window, putting his latest harvest at our door. He also often made it a point to tell me how much he enjoyed my wife's baking.
He used to always wear an SFA polo shirt. One time I asked him if he was in SF, he simply said, "Oh, that was long time ago." I assumed he was retired. Later I found out he was still an instructor decades after retiring, and only this year did my wife and I find out about his legendary status in the SF community.
I just spoke to one of his sons and the details of the service are still being worked out. Although a big military presence is expected, my family and I will also be in attendance, as civilians, as neighbors who will never forget the smiling old man who was the first to welcome us into the neighborhood.

Rest in Peace, Ernie. We all miss you.
Thank you for sharing your experience as Ernie's neighbor. Many of us knew him from an entirely different viewpoint- SF legend, instructor, humble, friendly, etc. Your story captures those same attributes in a different light. I enjoyed reading your story.

I'm sure you've seen the schedule for the funeral. Recommend arriving early.
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