Dan Ruth - Among the Collectors

Dan Ruth - Among the Collectors

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Remembering Don Sellers

I lost my Uncle today.  His was a life of riches, both in spirit, and in finery.  I remember only what I will cherish forever and my Uncle Don Sellers, for better or worse, had a lust for life and that’s what I will always remember.  He loved nice things and he loved to share them with those he loved.  Whether it was a fine California Cabernet, a perfectly prepared meal, or an S-1 GIA certified diamond, he knew beauty and he knew that beauty had value.  He was a self-made man with a love for all things beautiful – a fitting trait for a future Gemologist and appraiser.  I realize now, that I share in many of his traits.  In fact, I have his eyes.  I have my Uncle Don to thank for my appreciation of beauty, especially for that which has been created by artisans, master craftsmen and lovers of detail.   My “antique thing?”  That’s my Uncle Don.

I am grateful that a celebration brought our two families together again this past April - we were able to share in a great, positive experience together, with my Grandmother’s 100th birthday.  We all have my Mother to thank for that, but it was Don who pointed out that we as a family have always been rich, not always with material things but with love for each other.  If that sounds maudlin, let it be.  Our two families are still strong and together, and for that I am grateful.  I remember being made to feel welcome, always, in the Sellers home.  I remember images, too numerous to mention here, but loving memories of laughter, celebration and drunken insanity.  It was okay to be silly in the Seller home.  Don was an original “foodie.”  He loved to concoct amazing dinners and new cocktails.  He was a recipe-sharer with enough ideas for a spread, to feed all of Virginia Beach. 

Don’s infamous “Hot Damn” cocktail comes to mind, as does his “Monkey Madness” and “Peachy Keen.”  Don’s favorite word had to be “Damn.”  He would say it all the time.  If you asked him how his smoked chicken was going, you were certain to get a “God damn, it’s good.”  “God damn it.”  “Damn, that’s good stuff.”  “God damn it, that’s a beautiful ring.”  Yup.  I miss you already, Don.  Thank you for the gift of appreciation.  Thank you for introducing me to the world of gemstones, precious metals and antiques.   The jewelry and hallmark books you gave me are priceless and I will never part with them - they are part of you.  You knew that they were meant to be shared, so thank you.  Every time I pick up a loupe, I think of you.  You and I will always share that love of marks, hidden secrets, magic and the value of authenticity.  

You were a genuine article Don, authentic to the core.  Rest in peace and love, always.  Dan