Steve Eberhart

Eberhart FamilyAnd If You Fell, I Would Be There To Catch You

<< Photo: Steve Eberhart & family - 2006 (a few months before Steve passed away from cancer). Click for larger image.

Oh how I remember that day. I was working and returning to Yuba City at noon and I had the car radio on low, for background music, when the news of the crash came on. At first I felt sad that children had to experience this and then the announcer said it was from Yuba City - I just about had an accident. All I could think of was my son, Steven Eberhart. I felt he was either badly injured or he was ok, and I prayed for all the kids. I went to work and then went to a friend's who had been trying to get hold of me, and we watched the news on TV. The worst for me was that the TV had a rolling list of survivors and Steven was not on that list. What to do? We were told not to come to Martinez...then to come. I finally called every hospital that was listed, and Steven was not listed at any of them. The last hospital I contacted, I asked the lady what should I do? She said to come to Martinez and we would be helped. Our friend Bob Olson drove us to the staging place and when the lady asked who we were and who our child was, she had a clipboard with everyone's name and she said Steven was at Martinez VA hospital. Steven's wallet had come out of his pocket during the wreck and he was a John Doe until 4:00pm when Kim Kenyon identified him. He and Gary Vaught were taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland. Steven was in a coma for 5 days and when he came out of the coma he had no memory of the accident. As we heard from some of the others, later, Steven was asleep when the accident happened so he was knocked unconscious immediately.

Sadly Steven passed away Mar. 12, 2006 from cancer. This is Steven's story. My love to all of you. I know it hurts to remember, but it is good to remember. Steven's dad and I have seen the memorial there in Martinez and it is a lovely place to remember.

Joan Becker
July 22, 2008

Yosemite ValleyOkay, I've had my good cry over Steve's passing  and I'm ready to respond!

Photo: Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Falls, 4:24pm rainbow, June 2006 >>

First, Joan, I'm so very sorry to hear of Steve's illness and death. He was a fun person to be with - I seem to remember seeing him either at home or in the hospital later after the crash and the memorial on May 28th, 1976. He was glad to see us and his face lit up when we came into the room.

Steve and I have a notorious history: he pulled a chair out from underneath me when I was about to sit down on it one day in the choir room. While I was sitting on the floor in shock with my ass killing me and stinging like hell, he laughed and laughed at my distress. I wanted to punch him in the nose, but thought better of it and didn't. He was just playing a practical joke.

Later in life, after I became an uncle and then a father, I learned to appreciate how precious was the unfettered playfulness of children. At the time, as children, it might seem cruel to us, but later, as adults, we realize that not all injuries are intended to cause long-term suffering.

I saw Steve at the Martinez memorial dedication in 1996. I've thought of him from time to time since then, hoping he was doing well. I am sorry to hear that he has left us, but hope he has found his old place among our choir in Heaven.

May I place your email to me on the website with a link from Steve's name on the Yearbook page? I would like to do that since I feel it's so important for people who visit to find out what's become of all of us who survived just as it is to know those who were killed in the bus crash.

Second, thank you, Joan, for your honest, sincere message about Steve. I pray that one day we will all be together once again in that holiest of all places.

Third, you're right: it is good to remember...

Take care and give my best to Steve's dad (I hope he laughs at my chair story)!

- Tom

Mark Abbott LighthouseThank You, Tom, for answering my email.

<< Photo: Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse - Santa Cruz, CA

Yes, Steven could be a very funny kid. He loved playing jokes on people and making them laugh. You know he lived and worked in Santa Cruz for the last 20 or so years. We held a "Celebration of his life" in Santa Cruz the week after his death. It was certainly an eye opener for us. He did so much good, for his friends, and even strangers. I am so proud of him, even though I didn't always approve of the way he lived. He was a good human being.

Yes, Tom, you may use my story on your web site. You know I found that by talking about the accident, it made it easier for me to accept what happened.

Thanks Again.
- Joan
July 24, 2008

See Photo Gallery for images from the yearbook

"The roads and everything on them fly up and dissolve
a net rises from the world
the cobweb in which it was dying
and the earth breathes naked with its new scars
and sky everywhere"

- W. S. Merwin
"The Inevitable Lightness"
The Rain In The Trees



Walton Lighthouse<< Photo: Walton Lighthouse - Santa Cruz Harbor Light

Mr. Spock: (dying, his voice gravelly)  "The ship...out of danger?"
Capt. Kirk: (mourning, but frankly) "...yes!..."
Mr. Spock: (nodding)  "Don't grieve, Admiral, it is logical - the needs of the many...outweigh..."
Capt. Kirk: (helping) "...the needs of the few..."
Mr. Spock: (regaining his composure) "...or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru* test until now - what do you think of my solution...?"
Capt. Kirk: (disbelieving) "...Spock..."
Mr. Spock: (succumbing) "I have been and always shall be...your friend! (places his hand in the Vulcan salute against the radiation glass)" Live long and prosper..." (he fades & slips away...) (pause)
Capt. Kirk: (softly, trembling) *Kobayashi Maru - in their final year at Star Fleet Academy, cadets must undergo a computer simulation, a relentless program where the cadet (as ship's captain) must confront the "No-Win" scenario.  This is, of course, the ultimate test of character.

Walton Lighthouse

"This was the way of it -
Let the story fires be lighted,
Let our circle be strong and full of medicine.
Hear me!
This is my Dream Song that I am singing for you;
This is my Power Song that has taken me to the edge;
This is my Talking Birth Song for a new day;
This is rock medicine,
The talking tree, The singing water,
Listen...I am dancing underneath you.

It is a memory, It is a river,
It is a chant, It is a canoe on a river,
It is a memory of long ago,
It is an arrow in flight,
It is a medicine story,
It is what happened long ago,
It is a bead in a story belt,
It is a memory,
It is what has been forgotten, It is a campfire,
It is the smell of sweetgrass and cedar
And prayers lifted to Sky Father,
It is a way...a tradition...
The way it was always done by the people.
It is a campfire,
It is the feeling of warmth and the sound of voices.

Listen, I am dancing underneath you,
I am dancing on the shore of the river
In the moonlight calling you to the campfire,
To sit with the people and remember.

Listen, I am dancing underneath you."

Dream Song
Little Wolf Band