Jack Bryson was like one of the old books he treasured — a rare first edition. He was a private person, respectful and discreet, so friends relished his stories, a sentence here or there that might complete an interesting chapter in his life. With his quick wit and a mischievious glance from sharp blue eyes, Jack could reduce complicated issues to a few intelligent words.

A man without pretense, Jack appreciated fine art, music and literature, good food and wine. Without doubt, he grew the best tomatoes on the Hill. A gourmet cook, Jack generously shared his culinary efforts with special friends.

He loved animals, especially dogs, and often commented he wished more people had their humanity. He was a considerate neighbor and could be a bit curmudgeonly to those who were not so thoughtful. Jack supported Idyllwild’s Animal Rescue Friends (ARF) and frequented the HELP Center Thrift Store where he had volunteered in the past, often browsing for little treasures to give away.

Jack Bryson passed away peacefully in his Idyllwild home of 37 years on May 31; he was 83. Though he has completed his final chapter on the mountain, those of us who love him and cherished his presence in our lives have only to look in our hearts to see him walking contentedly through the forest with beloved Luke at his side.

You can honor Jack with a gift to ARF/Sadie’s Clinic, P.O. Box 719, Idyllwild, CA 92549, (951) 659-1122, or the HELP Center, P.O. Box 660, Idyllwild CA 92549, (951) 659-2110, or by quietly doing something kind for an older person.