A Life Well Lived


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I had been nervously checking the news and twitter feeds for the last few days, almost constantly, trying to keep up with Jean and Scott Adam, pictured here. This is how I remember them, exactly. We weren't dear, close friends ... rather, just friendly. Maybe a little more than that.

They were murdered early this morning on their hijacked yacht the Quest, as it maneuvered through pirate-cluttered water off the coast of Oman. Reports about their journey and capture have been equally cluttered, dark. Needlessly cruel and dark. They carried Bibles on their shiny boat.

We knew them in the years that they were preparing for their world journey, just as we were embarking on our huge adventure of this magazine. We were all members of the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Mar, California; we had a lot in common, but there were stark differences, too.

A small minority of folks in the club were actual live-aboards, for instance. When you are a live-aboard, you are in love with your boat. Seriously besotted, sometimes beyond all rational thought. That's how I was, and that's how they were. They, however, were leagues beyond us in vision, planning, courage, and skill.

Their boat was a thing to behold, and they lovingly designed every polished inch of it. Scott had been involved in show business, so he knew what he wanted and how to make it happen. They were also deeply in love with each other, and it was joyful to be around them.

As I said, we didn't know each other very well, but we were friendly. Jean was a cool, smart, wonderful blonde who never stopped joking around, and Scott did me a favor back then that wasn't any big deal to him -- that's just how he was -- but, to me and to you reading this, it has made all the difference. I thanked him again and again, each time I saw him, and each time he shrugged it off and smiled. That's just how he was.

Details are mostly irrelevant now. I will sketch it out quickly and go back to looking out the window and thinking about our places in the world. Scott had become a theology student and with his educational discount, and he helped me buy that horribly expensive Creative Suite from Adobe for a few hundred instead of a few thousand dollars. With it, I was able to create the magazine.

It was so terribly terribly important. It was out of reach. He was an angel in disguise, a guy I hardly knew who appreciated technology and creative opportunities, and he didn't hesitate to help. He also had a really long gray ponytail of hair that you can't see in the photos, so when he turned and walked away you had to erase your first impression.

Many people are only meeting the Adams for the first time here on the internet, where they are being described as Bible-thumping missionaries, privileged white folk on a yacht, naively cruising. In real life, however, they touched the souls of those they met in unforgettable ways. We are the richer for knowing them, and I pray they were lifted carefully off the yacht and into a peaceful heaven.

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