EDITOR: My first assignment during the 2010 census was in Occidental. Early one morning, driving slowly through the main parking lot, a glance in the review mirror revealed an older, bearded man frantically waving his arms and shouting, "Hey, Mr. census man! Hey, Mr. census man!" I stopped and when he got to my open window, he said, "I haven't been e-nu-mer-ated yet." Well, he wasn't on my list, but I got out my clipboard and enumerated him.

During this brief encounter, I was quite taken by this anomaly of a scruffy, bearded old man with penetrating eyes who was obviously smart and articulate. It wasn't until reading The Press Democrat obituary ("Occidental's &‘friend of everybody' dies," Wednesday) that I fully understood what a community treasure he was. It was my privilege to be one of the few "outsiders" to make his brief acquaintance.

That Richard Kaufman was counted in the census pales in importance to the fact that he was counted as a friend by so many. May he continue to be counted and remembered for his unique role in his community.


Santa Rosa