My friend Steve "Wonder" Shears a.k.a. "Showcase Steve" of Showcase International died peacefully last night about this time of pancreatic cancer. He was born on June 26, 1947, and died on March 12, 2012. Steve was a remarkable human being in so many ways: hilarious and ironic, super-talented and self-educated, street-wise and world-wise, witty and urbane. My friend was also a royal pain in the ass at times as he warred against his personal demons within which strangely enough made him more endearing when he was not actually being that way. I came into Steve's life relatively late in his and missed so much time and so many experiences with him. Thus I have the fewest recollections of him and experiences with him of any of his friends. However, those experiences with him and recollections of him I do have from the relatively few years I knew him are precious to me. I can also certainly say that the times I spent out helping him on his property since May of 2009 were incredibly important times for me in my development and evolution as a man and a child of God. I have grown more as a man during the period of 2009-2012 than any other three-year period in my life. Much of that growth is attributable to my quiet times of introspection and reflection while working out in his Back Forty. Steve has moved on as must I. Even before his death I could see the end of my journey on the Central Coast, as well. Now I have one less connection to this wonderful place to live that I must soon leave for a time, or perhaps forever.
Quite unfortunately at this time Steve and his lovely soul-mate and wife Marybeth have endured a most grievous and cruel betrayal. Certain friends of theirs (and acquaintances to me), siblings in a dysfunctionally co-dependent family, whom recently started a rock-selling company out of the rubble of the latest marriage of the elder of them, demonstrated their true colors as false friends in a most heinous fashion. To start things off, whilst Steve was in the more initial stages of his descent into death, the eldest of the duo approached the Shears and offered to buy out their business for a measly sum that was an utter insult. This person's lack of respect and lack of understanding business was demonstrated in not only what they said but in what they did not say. This was forgiven and forgotten until lately when it became widely known in the business that these interlopers had begun telling rock show chairpersons and dealer chairpersons that they had already bought out Steve's business. Or, variously, they told antique malls in which Steve had a booth that they were "waiting for the old man to die" [and then presumably buy out his business from the distraught widow]. The intent in the first case was to simply illegitimately and by deception take over Steve's spot in rock shows by riding his coattails and falsely soliciting the presumption of having taken up his mantle with his blessing and thus hoping to inherit his show spots and customer base. In the second case they were suggesting as Steve lay a-dying that they would pick the carcass of his business (and his booth spots in antique malls) before he was even cold and stiff. This came after they had already expanded their presence into new areas of the county in close proximity to Steve's antique mall booths and with the inevitable result of undercutting their friend's business. To suggest all this this has hurt and outraged his widow would be a gross understatement. For anybody to have underestimated Steve's inestimable wife who for to have been his wife necessarily had to be a remarkable person in her own right was just plain dumb and arrogant. For these people to believe nobody would find out any of this was beyond dumb and arrogant. Now the cat is out of the bag and in a small sub-culture like the rock business everybody knows everybody so these disloyal, greedy, narcissistic and nihilistic sociopaths have been exposed.