Sunday, November 22, 2020

Remembering Bob Moon

I wrote the other day about the loss of two important Columbians. Today I want to touch on a story about one of them: Bob Moon. 

First I want to recommend the exquisitely written obituary by his wife, Jean Moon, whose writing so many of us have read in so many different contexts through the years. Having helped to write my grandmother and my father’s obituaries, I know how hard it can be. It is a gift of of love. And it requires your best work. Take the time to read Ms. Moon’s piece on her husband’s full life and many achievements.

Long time community advocate Bob Moon closes out a "happy life"

Beating the odds, he survived for 27 years after heart transplant

I want to draw your attention to this section:

He was a strong advocate of Richard Louv's movement to combat childhood nature-deficit disorder and designed a Children's Garden & Playground for the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center.

This is how my younger daughter and I came to meet him. In 2010 I put out a request on Facebook.

Mr. Moon took the time to meet with us at Grassroots, show my daughter around the the garden and playground, and explain to us how it came into existence. He told us about how his wife had worked with a group of highschool students on the project. They spearheaded a fundraising effort (Change Matters) to cover the costs. Mr. Moon did the design. I believe the students may also have helped in working on-site to put it all together.

I’ll never forget how he treated my daughter with the utmost respect, as though she was presenting him with a large check, rather than a small tree in a ceramic pot. He spoke at her level, but not condescendingly. When we were done I snapped a photo of her with the tree in its new home. Right now I am just kicking myself that I didn’t include Mr. Moon in the photo. My daughter was very shy, though. I didn’t want to put her on the spot.

Mr. Moon was well-known in Oakland Mills for his commitment to a vision of Blandair Park as a nature park for children. Although it has not been developed by the County in the way he hoped, the North Side of the park (Phase 2) will be primarily a nature park. 

A small nature center will concentrate on backyard and meadow wildlife, with an observation deck and nature activity room. A Children’s Garden will provide three to four acres of creative child-level and hands-on flower and garden experiences.  (HoCoMDcc)

I’m sure I am not the first one to have thought of this, but it seems to me that naming this portion of the park in honor of Bob Moon would be a perfect tribute to his passion and tireless effort to bring this kind of park to our community’s children. 

I am so thankful for all the many ways Bob Moon shared his creativity and professional expertise with Columbia and Howard County. Reading the highlights of his life so carefully crafted by Mrs. Moon gave me a much richer picture of his accomplishments and the things and people he loved. May his work live on in our own lifetimes and beyond.

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