Gene Meyer speech

Here’s an Irish toast, “Let’s drink and be merry all grief to refrain, for we may or might never all meet here again,”


Happy All Souls Day

Happy Dia de los Muertos

What a fitting day for this celebration.


John Timothy McArdle, was born in Los Angeles on July 22, 1944. Tim attended St Elisabeth School in Van Nuys, Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Santa Clara University, where his fraternity brothers called him Ozone because he was from LA, and Mc George School of Law in Sacramento.


He spent most of his career in management for the State of California Employment Development Department, where he eventually became an administrative law judge, presiding over hundreds of cases each month.


I met Nancy McArdle in first grade. I didn’t meet her brother John until a year or two later, and was as confused as everybody as to whether John was his name, as the nuns addressed him, or Tim, which is what his family called him. But it didn’t take long to figure out. My friends in those early years were either altar boys or choir girls. But we were no angels. The Meyers lived within blocks of the McArdles, so we spent much  time as San Fernando Valley kids in the 50’s riding around Van Nuys on our bicycles, hopping the fences Van Nuys High School stadium and playing baseball or watching Friday Night football games. Not one of us ever paid admission for a game at the stadium. We could jump any chain link fence in 2 seconds. Paul Campbell was the fastest.

We could also access any building we wanted. We never stole anything, but we’d do stuff like sneak into the Van Nuys High School gym at night, get all the basketballs out, and play dodgeball in the dark because we’d get busted if we turned on the lights. You haven’t been stunned unless you’d been hit in the head in the pitch dark, with a basketball thrown by Jeff Meyer.


While we never realized it when we were growing up, we all had pretty normal childhoods. We had moms, dads, brothers, sisters, morning paper routes, and most important to all of us, friends. Later in the early 60’s, when we were teenagers, we had cars, some that even belonged to us, and cruised Bob’s Big boy on Van Nuys Bl, a legendary spot that inspired Am Graffiti, which was filmed in Modesto, a few miles from here. Quiz: What were Tim’s cars growing up?  


During the mid to late 60’s, our entire group faced the military draft and the Vietnam War. Barely of drinking age, we each had to sort out how to deal with unavoidable military service. Some went to Vietnam, where they saw combat. Some went to other parts of Southeast Asia, some to Germany, and some were stationed here in the states, but our group was lucky that we all came out of the military in one piece.  Tim was a US Army lieutenant assigned to Korea, and like anything else he did, he absorbed the experience and culture of this beautiful country and its people. When he came home, I had just been drafted and was on my way to Korea for a year. Tim said, “OK here’s the Korean greeting: An yang has seo, and the response is an yang ha shamika. And when you want to say thank you, you say kamsamnida. And then he made me practice them. That not only got me off on the right foot in Korea in 1968, but I still use those expressions regularly.  

In fact, earlier this week Dennis and I were on a golf course where two Korean couples assisted us in playing through a group, and I said kamsamnida. What a look of surprise and delight on their faces. Tim McArdle taught me that.


After the 60’s we settled into jobs and separate lives, but we still hung out regularly, whether at Dodger games, poker games, softball games, or the beach.  

But, why did our group remain in touch for all our lives? I used to say I kept 50 or 60 of my old friends because I was too lazy to make new ones. Today I’m almost 400 miles from LA, and there are at least a dozen people in this hall that I have been friends with since elementary school. I’m proud of that. Tim was proud of that.


I think the main reason so many of our childhood friends stayed in touch is that we saw each other at least once a year. In the 70’s there was a mass migration of these friends from the San Fernando Valley to the Auburn Grass Valley Sacramento area. I was one of them, Tim was one of them, and with the help of other LA transplants, we challenged the wimps in the South, represented by my brother Jeff, to a softball game, with trophies and a big party. They beat us by a run. That started the North South Annual Softball Series, which lasted from 1975 to 1985. Every year for 10 years, teams traveled either to Auburn or LA to play a softball game that we all got serious about winning. We were only in our 30’s then, but when we started getting too old to play without killing ourselves, in 1991, to keep the party alive, we started the The Legends of the North South. Then, after two Legends Games, we started Caribou Campouts, so as you can see, staying in touch regularly is important but I’ve always found it easy.  It takes lots of prodding and tri tip.     


About friendship, One time Tim and I were living in a rental house together in Auburn and were having dinner with a local friend. He said, “You know you two have more childhood friends in this town than I do. And I was born here!”

My most valuable asset is my relationship with my family and my friends. I hope that Tim and Pat’s grandchildren can enjoy relationships like we had. After all, my friends are the ones who tell me when one if my ideas is stupid. I get that a lot.


-Back in 1985, I spent a six week Holiday semester break from my job as a community college teacher in Hawaii and travelled to Thailand to study the ancient Hill tribes in the Golden Triangle, (Sure, Everybody says). While in Chiang Mai, in a bar, (Hey, a guy’s gotta have a brew), I encountered an Irishman, (Yeah, he needed a brew, too!). He was Patrick Boylan from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, and he invited me to come visit him. His family ran a big construction company that built schools and municipal buildings in Ireland. Well, that summer I took him up went half way around the world to visit and meet the Boylan family. H turned out to be a wonderful friend. When I returned to California, I ran into Tim and Nancy and was telling them about a pub I saw in Dundalk called McArdle’s, and they told me that the Boylan family, from Carrick Macross, 10 miles away were their cousins.  Imagine travelling half way around the world to Asia and meeting McArdle relatives from Ireland! Tim and Nancy, of course, had many details about the Boylans and had visited them.  I went back a second time and visited Carrickmacross and the Boylans again, when my wife Veda and I got married.


-Tim was the most detail oriented person I ever grew up with. He had knowledge of stuff you’d never expect. In 1970, I had a cool beachfront rental on Oahu. Tim and Paul Ebert flew over to visit. We had a luau, the buried pig on the beach and all. Then before they left for the Mainland, somebody said, (I think it was Paul) “Let’s cancel our plane tickets and go camping on the Big Island (Hawaii).”  So off we went, with borrowed sleeping bags, to check out the volcanoes and beaches of Hawaii. We flew to Kona, rented a ’59 Chevy, and went camping on an isolated beach on the north coast now known as Mauna Lani, (Look it up, $500 a night). During our trip, we drove from Kona to Hilo and back, and put at least 500 miles on the Chevy. Tim kept coming up with facts and statistics about the Big Island, the volcanos, lava tubes. I said, Tim, how did you know all this stuff and you didn’t even know you were coming here on your vacation, (Obviously before the internet or Google), He said he was reading up on Hawaii, and got interested. He turned out to be a great tour guide.



Tim owned a boat in Marina del Rey, which I hope you will hear more about today. Named the Rocking Horse, it was a classic all mahogany and teak 40 ft Hershoff sloop, built in Bristol England, that flew 40 flags for races it had won on lake Erie. Well, we put an end to that. My brother Jack likes to say that since Tim lived aboard, every time we went sailing, all of Tim’s books, and an occasional microvave oven, ended up on the floor. Tim also had a problem with motion sickness, so he was always coming with new seasick remedies, from drinking Karo syrup, to aspirin and caffeine, to other legal and illegal means. Paul Ebert and I bought the boat from Tim, and managed to dismast her on Randolph Hearst’s pier in San Simeon, then sank her in Morrow Bay.

People asked me, How did it sink, I said it filled up with water. They asked, how did you get it back up, and I said, just write a big check. It’s still in Vallejo FYI.


-Tim and I shared a book one time called, How the Irish Saved Civilization, in which there was much discussion about the Irish personality, and how unserious the Irish tend to be. In the book, Sigmund Freud, in exasperation, once said that the Irish were the only people on earth, who could not benefit from psychoanalysis. I thought that was hilarious, that it nailed some of my friends, like Terry Coultas and Tim Donnelly. But Tim, being a more serious type, (unlike Coultas or Donnelly), said that in fact we can all benefit from counseling, except maybe Terry.


We started an informal club about 15 years ago, sort of an old guys thing. We call it the Caribou Club. It is based on the premise that as caribou grow old, they run slower and slower in the pack until the wolves catch up to them. Our slogan is, “I don’t have to be fastest. I just have to be faster than you.” We started and developed the idea of the Caribou Club when we were in our late 50’s, before we had so many ailments to complain about. This was all done with great humor, and it was always a focus whenever we’d meet as we grew older, especially when we all talked about our developing ailments. Tim was one of the original Caribou Club members, and he and Pat were there for Dennis’ 60th birthday party when we first put out embroidered shirts and hats. The Caribou Club travels to spring training in Arizona every year. Tim and Pat joined us a couple of years ago.

But we always say now that the Caribou Club is all laughs except when something like this happens, when we really lose one.

By the way we have a Caribou website that will publish a page for Tim in the next 2 weeks. We tried to get it done for today, but many Caribou on our web staff are out of the office attending a memorial service in Lodi.  


Tim had an amazing memory and collected facts. One evening I was sitting with Tommy Atkinson in an old house we all rented in Van Nuys, and we were talking about a guy we worked with at the Richfield gas station on Van Nuys Blvd. The guy was from Kinosha Wisconsin, and when Tim heard that he said, “You know in Wisconsin, cows outnumber people by 200,000.” Tommy and I looked at each other and said, “How does he know this stuff?” Of course, why do I remember that today?  I don’t know. I learned it from Tim. (I just hope don’t cows to outnumber democrats by 200,000).


I never witnessed a pessimistic moment in Tim’s life. I think we all knew him as an eternal optimist. He always had a positive measured answer, never a bunch of bull. These answers were usually backed up by statistics. Tim sort of sounded like an attorney even before he was one. His respect for the law was high. That’s why he named his first child William O. Douglas McArdle.


Our lifestyles were a bit different, Tim’s very button down collar and legal, mine very surfer trunks and a bit illegal, but whether we got together in Hawaii, Auburn, Sacramento, or at a Dodger game in LA, we laughed and enjoyed the moment, and isn’t that what it’s all about? We were those Van Nuys Irish kids, laughing and reminiscing again.


Finally, I would like to send my warmest wishes to Tim’s wife Pat, Tim’s son Doug (and wife Nicole), Tim’s daughter Claire, Tim’s sister Nancy, Brothers Mark and spouse Julie, Steve and wife Cecilia, stepdaughters Michelle and husband Mike, and Kristi and husband Mike. So and So will be out here soon to represent all the grandkids.


I leave you with three expressions, in Latin, Gaelic, and Korean.


Requia scat en Pacem.  Rest in peace.


Erin go braugh, Til the end of time


And finally, Kamsamnida.  Let’s have a great day for Tim

Doug's Words

Past his words here