Sunday, December 18, 2016

With a sad farewell and love to Av

It is with deep sadness that we say goodbye to our beloved friend and fearless leader, Avram Hammer. Av left this world peacefully, with grace, on Saturday, December 17th after a brief and brave battle with cancer. Our hearts and sorrow are with Laurie and the family at this time.

Av was our rock and in many ways the counterpoint to Sam, whose loud and boisterous nature was tempered by Av's quiet, measured demeanor. (They were quite a pair together, weren't they?) His friendships with Sheldon and Bill were uniquely special as well.

There weren't many moments when Av didn't share an easy smile. He had an engaging sense of humor that brought a lot of laughter, (along with his amusing stories), to every Cyclopath gathering. With Sam, Bill, and Sheldon, he started our small little biking group in 1974, perhaps not realizing those Saturday morning bike and breakfast rides would continue for 42 years. Although he was riding less frequently in recent years, he still joined us on occasion -- including a hilly ride in June to Gloucester, and breakfast at Sugar Magnolias. What a fun morning it was to have him with us! I'm sure many of us will remember it fondly.

Those early days of the North Shore Cyclopaths included crazy mileage, many Pan Mass Challenge rides, adventures on the tandem with Laurie, and countless friends. We all have fun memories with Av. As I went through photos today, many of those memories had me smiling. I could hear Av stating during a tailgate Passover breakfast in Manchester, "After this, I want a REAL breakfast. I'm hungry." (And sure enough, we ended up at The Beach Street Cafe that year.) We all know he likely enjoyed the breakfast more than the riding -- especially if he could get his home fries extra crispy.

Av loved life and laughter, friendship and fun, but he loved Laurie and their family above all else. Oh, how he adored them. We all knew the Hammer family, (including Judy, Bob, Jake, Abby and Lily living close by), through the many stories and adventures he shared.

He was our leader and statesmen, brilliant and engaging, a genuine treasure -- and our lives were greatly enriched for knowing him.

We love you so very much, Av. We miss you already.


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