I’ve actually known that he was gone for a while, but I wasn’t sure why. When I went to his shop and he wasn’t there I assumed that whatever happened wasn’t good.
I’d been going to his shop for more than 20 years. He’d had it there for much longer than that. I remember seeing the shop when I was a kid, going to the beach with the babysitter. Something we did almost daily. It was my halfway mark. “We’re halfway to the beach now!”
When I got older and interested in plants, and could drive, I drove down and went in. From there I would drive on down the bonsai store.
I still have many of the plants bought there. Some older than my stepson. He had unusual and rare species, many grown from seed.
I found out from an on-line phone directory that the Cactus Man did indeed die. His wife kept the store open odd hours for a while, but she finally gave it up and the store has been closed for six months or more. I’m still greiving.