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Dan, Chris, and Rumples

Still Life with Captain America by Daniel Patrick Wilson


From David Wilson, San Francisco, Friday night.

Hello Everyone. I am very sad tonight, but have to report that my little brother, Daniel Patrick Wilson, died suddenly this morning, Friday, April 16, 2010. He was 44 years old.

I know that his years at Pinel were happy ones for Daniel, who had a lot of trouble in this world, on account that he was just too big and loud to ever fit right in it.  I know that he had the highest regard for his fellow Pinelians, as we can see by looking at his many enthusiastic posts in the archives of our online discussion group.

Here is one that he posted just over a year ago, when we learned of Bill Kenney’s passing (The verses Daniel quotes are from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran)…

Wed Apr 1, 2009 7:58 pm

for our group and bill a reading wave

hello all
i am not a religious man

yet i have read this particular verse over
my grandfather
my mother-in-law
and brother in-law
plus for the many friends and comrades in arms
i have lost

so i will pass it along

i hope it has meaning and comfort to those who read it


the they spoke,saying,we ask now of death.
And he said:
you would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the
mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death,open the your heart wide
unto the body of life.
For life and death are one,even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your
silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow
your heart dreams of spring
Trust the dreams,for in them is hidden the gate
to eternity
our fear of death is but the trembling of the
shepherd when he stands before the king whose
hands is to be laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling,that
he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not mindful of his trembling?
For what is to die but stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,but to free the breath from its
restless tides,that it may rise and expand and seek god?? unencumbered??
Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain TOP ,then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then your soul shall truly dance.

peace and love
to all
Daniel Patrick Wilson
The Top

Facebook Tributes to DPW beginning 4/16/2010

pinel tributes

Winter 2009-2010


Common Interest - Friends

Daniel Patrick Wilson Born - Walnut Creek, California, USA, July 22, 1965 Died - Chimacum, Washington, USA, April 16, 2010 The Man! The Myth! The Legend! This is a place to share memories of Dan, his life and times. "We are in charge." - D. P. Wilson

April 25 at 7:27am

Nicole Hills

thank you so much for sharing all of this…I can picture it through your beautiful, so moving…the perfect send off for Daniel...

April 25 at 8:11am

Alan Akl Lipton


April 25 at 1:26pm

David A Wilson

"APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land" - Eliot

April 25 at 3:33pm

Daniel Flanagan

I feel for you David, and my thoughts are with you.

April 25 at 4:10pm

Bruce Henderson

Seems like way too young to go. Hard to outlive a younger sibling. What a sad condolences.

April 25 at 9:15pm

David Bear

Daniel and Steve Sweek in the Great Northwest

Daniel and Tim Flynn

Stories About Daniel

Stories about Daniel…….when I began thinking of stories about Daniel, I thought about how there have always been stories about Daniel. He has always been larger than life. I also thought about how the stories that immediately come to my mind often have to do with fire, fireworks, or firearms.

I remember when Brenna was a baby and I was living with the Wilsons. It was summertime. Helga and John had gone out somewhere and David, Daniel and I were hanging out in the kitchen.  Suddenly Daniel said, What’s that sound? And we looked out the sliding glass door that led to the backyard. There was a huge wall of flame coming up the dry grass of the hill toward the house and we could hear it roaring. I went to get Brenna out of her crib and took her to the James’ house which was two blocks away, then came right back. By the time I got back, the whole house was covered in smoke. David had gathered important papers and photographs and put them by the door, neighbors had shown up and made a line from the bathroom to the back fence passing buckets and bowls of water, and Daniel was up on the roof watering it down. I could not believe it. I could barely see him up there. I think he had a bandana over his nose and mouth, but I was really worried that he would get smoke inhalation or fall because of not being able to see where he was stepping. I yelled up to him, asking him if he would please come down. He yelled back that he was just doing what he had to do, and it would be ok. And he was right. Firefighters showed up shortly after that. They had been detained because they were fighting the fire from the bottom of the hill. They said that Daniel had saved the house.

Daniel was larger than life, and he was a hero, but he also paid attention to the small things in life…the things that could make a person feel cared about and at home. I remember going to a Grateful Dead concert at the Frost Ampitheater with David and Daniel in the early 80s. It was a long trek by public transportation and half way through the trek we were waiting for a bus at the San Francisco Airport, when Daniel pulled out a lunch he had made for all of us. We hadn’t known about the lunch, and it was such a nice surprise. He had made ham sandwiches for us and had even taken the time to hard boil eggs. It was unexpected coming from a teenage boy, and  I’ll never forget the feeling of care that was present in that lunch, and how it made me feel so at home in the vast open space and impersonal cement of the airport as we stood by a cyclone fence, waiting for the bus.

Daniel was one of the most moral and honest people I have ever met, and he had a deep sense of old fashioned chivalry. When David told his family I was pregnant with Brenna, and Helga told me that they would like me to move in with them, she also told me, I think because she thought it was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture, that when Daniel found out about the pregnancy, he said he would marry me if David wasn’t going to. I felt so reassured by the caring in that statement, and the loyalty to family that was obvious in Daniel, as well as in his whole family, and that reassurance meant a lot to me as I was entering into the big life changes involved in becoming a mother.

Daniel had the rare and beautiful quality of being able to express anger without putting the other person down or being mean in any way. When we were all living together and I was having conflict with Helga, one time he came up to me in the kitchen. I remember we were standing in front of the brown cabinet doors, and I had just closed one of the doors after putting away a dish. He was emotional and it was clear it took a lot for him to approach me. He said, Nicole, It’s not ok with me for you to talk to my mother that way. When he said this to me, I knew he was angry with me, and yet there was nothing negative in his tone toward me—his tone was emotional and yet also full of respect toward me as a fellow human being. There was not one moment where I felt not valued by him in the whole interaction. I was so impressed by his maturity in this interaction, especially considering he was a teenager. It really made me think about how the conflict was affecting him, and it made me change.

Daniel had a way of suggesting activities that were sort of anxiety producing and seemed adventurous to me at the same time. My anxiety told me that something was going to go wrong, and yet things worked out. I remember when Brenna and I visited Daniel and Chris in Port Townsend about nine years ago. We had a fantastic time on that trip, and we have both thought about it often over the years. Upon our arrival, Daniel wanted to set off a firework in the parking lot of their apartment in our honor. As we all walked out the front door of the apartment toward the parking lot, Brenna and I were both nervously saying—you don’t have to do this—but he insisted. I was worried the cops would come. It was a professional grade firework, and it went way up in the night sky. It was awesome and beautiful. The cops did come, and they said that they had heard a firework had been set off. Daniel said, oh that was me, and they said well, please don’t do it again, and he said ok, and that was that!

At another point during the trip, I wanted to walk on the bike trail into town on a foggy morning, and I asked him if he thought it was safe for me to walk alone. With a completely straight face, and in all seriousness he said, do you want to bring a gun?

Daniel and Chris were fantastic hosts. Chris had to work some of the time, but Daniel was able to be with us and be the tour guide the whole time we were there. He wanted to show us all around the town. One day I wanted to go shopping at some of the antique stores in town. I could not believe that he actually went shopping with me. My experience of men is that if they go shopping at all, they usually wait outside or nearby rather than actually participating in the shopping. But Daniel wanted to participate in the whole experience. He was so present in the moment. And now I have this memory—this big loud macho guy barely fitting into this cramped antique store, picking up these tiny objects and looking at them with me, as we talked about what they were and what the stories behind them might be.

But in my deepest memories of Daniel, I see him backpacking in the Sierras, in nature, in the woods. I remember him playing the guitar by the campfire at night. He loved to sing the Lynyrd Skynyrd song Simple Man, which was recently sung by the winner of American Idol this year, Lee Dewyz. I heard Lee’s rendition, which was really good, and I’ve listened to the Lynyrd Skynyrd version, but I honestly think that Daniel sang it the best. There was nothing compared to the passion he put into that song, and the quality and timbre of his voice, just him and his guitar, playing that song in the mountains.

And finally, the memory I will always treasure most. As a child I had gone camping with my family every year, to a family camp and also to state campgrounds. This gave me a love for camping, but also a craving for an experience of true wilderness. At the state campgrounds, I could feel that too many people had been there for me to really feel nature and the animals nearby. So, when I went backpacking with the Wilsons to a remote place in the Sierras, I was incredibly excited to be able to really feel the presence and wildness of nature. Every step felt alive with trees, flowers, the creek, the rocks, the hidden presence of animals. On one of the trips, maybe the first one, Daniel suggested that he and I go on a night hike. I was scared by this idea, because I really saw night as a time belonging to the animals, but I was not going to pass up the opportunity. I think Daniel was playing host again and wanted to show me around this place that was so special to him and his family. I will never forget that hike, the feeling of the animals just beyond the edges of our sight, the green of nature darkened by the dark of night, Daniel loudly walking through the woods talking, breaking branches noisily with his steps. Yet his being was so much a part of that land that his loudness did nothing to disrupt my experience of wilderness. He just fit right into the whole environment—he was part of it. The end result for me was that I was able to experience the utter magic of walking through the wilderness at night, where I could sense the aliveness of the true earth with every step, and yet I felt entirely safe at the same time, because there was this big loud guy walking next to me who didn’t seem afraid of anything.

So, thank you Daniel, from the bottom of my heart, for these memories, for the beautiful qualities you freely gave to those around you, for the presence of your great spirit on this earth. You will be treasured always, and your stories will be passed on to generations.

Nicole Hills

Daniel, Brenna, Helga and Crocker at the Mountain Lion Pool

Philzone Tributes

Daniel Wilson’s Obituary in Contra Costa Times

Wilson Family
Daniel Patrick Wilson Teddy Bears Picnic
Saturday, June 5, 2010
High Noon until 6 O’Clock.

Crow Picnic Ground
Alhambra Creek Staging Area
Briones Regional Park
2537 Reliez Valley Rd.
(Or is that 5363 Alhambra Valley Rd.?)
Martinez, California
United States of America

DIRECTIONS to Alhambra Creek Staging Area from Hwy 24: take Pleasant Hill Rd exit, heading north. At 1.9 mi, Pleasant Hill Rd splits; take the left split (Taylor Blvd.) and follow it 2.2 mi. to Grayson Rd. Turn left on Grayson and drive 1/2 mile to Reliez Valley Rd. Turn right on Reliez Valley - the entrance is on the left (2537 Reliez Valley Rd.) From Hwy 4, take Alhambra Ave exit, heading south. Turn right onto Alhambra Valley Rd (0.6 mi.). At the T-intersection with Reliez Valley Rd, turn left and look for the park entrance on the right. Drive 1 mi. to staging area parking lot.

[Pinelians may recognize this as the fabled “farmer’s land” beyond pinel’s back fence. Venturing there was forbidden, and could reportedly result in an ass full of rock salt. Some pinel kids ventured out there anyway, for a thrill, including Danny Wilson.]

 Potluck. Old school pinel style. We will be providing a grill, and picnic sundries.

(Note: The park charges $5 for parking. We can arrange carpools from The Top of the Hill - Wilson Family home - for anybody who needs that option.)

Hope to see you there, for a while, or for a long afternoon.

Questions, or More Info: David Wilson,

Helga holding David Bear with family and friends at the Teddy Bears Picnic
Briones Regional Park - June 5, 2010

John O  and David (wearing Daniel’s black hat) at the Teddy Bears Picnic


Daniel Wilson

I think that sharing ones life is a great gift.

Remembering the first time I met Daniel…coming home with Dave from college and Daniel appeared to me like an African lion from the bush! I actually remember him leaping out from behind some bushes in the Wilsons yard. Loud, commanding, intimidating…and before me appeared young Daniel…full of spunk and as dangerous as a kitten!

Who’s this guy? He exclaimed…Why he’s my friend Daniel…in a matter of fact reply said Dave…Well any friend of Dave’s is a friend of mine…and with that I had a new friend…

He was gregarious, he was incorrigible…he had that appeal! As my friend…I will always remember his encouragement to me personally.

Over the years we had our fun…kept in touch…with phone calls and emails…he was always so cheerful. He called me recently on my 50th birthday, Chris, Daniel and other voices singing me a birthday greeting…it was the best call I’d had in a long time. A phone call I will never forget.

So dear friend thank you for the friendship and the many times we shared together be it over a pot of gumbo, BBQ or the firewater we drank on a sunny Memorial Day…you will forever be in my thoughts!


Elizabeth Wilson and Uncle Loud in front of the largest gun on the Pacific Coast

“Never fired in anger.” - D. P. Wilson

Still Life with Pirate by Daniel Patrick Wilson


July 22, 2010…


Dan and Chris Wedding Day

Daniel Wilson in his Freehold

Tom Phipps, John O. Wilson and D. A. Wilson, June 5, 2010

Daniel Stories by Daniel

Endless Freeways in California - Early 1970s

Unable to hear the audio?
Download QuickTime 7 here

Top A Tribute to Daniel Patrick Wilson

Danimal - Group on Facebook

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