[Update: Steve passed February 2014. Services were held at Wilson & Kratzner Mortuary Civic Center Chapel, followed by a wonderful gathering of family and friends who met at his home here in The Point.]
When my wife and I first moved to Point Richmond, we kept hearing stories about this guy named Steve who had lived here since the early 1940s. People shared fun stories, but mainly kept saying he was quite the character and that I just had to meet him. Well, I finally got the chance to sit and talk with him and I didn’t want to leave.
I don’t know for sure, but I’d say Steve Wyrick is probably the oldest member in the Point Richmond community. Besides living a long and healthy life, Steve’s enthusiasm for it is one of the things that really stands out when talking with him.
First of all, for much of his life Steve was a prolific gardener. For years he shared with his surrounding neighbors the bounty from his garden. He grew carrots, peppers, tomatoes, artichokes, string beans. He also has 3 different types of lemon trees, an orange tree and a “prized” pear tree.
In his aged, Texas-rooted voice, Steve told me, “I always started with Early Girl tomatoes. I’d get them first. [I’d] always buy at least six of those. I’d plant in the same spot every year but I put in old 10-10 fertilizer, you know, and then you’d chew it down into the ground. That makes everything grow good!”
At nearly 97-years old he’s had to stop gardening. Now his garden is tended to by some of his family members who plant a few items, but mainly keep the grounds clear of weeds. When talking about the gardening help he now gets, Steve said, “They’re very good but they don’t understand the basic stuffs for gardening, you know?! I try to teach ’em.” Adding with his wonderful and sly laugh, “but they don’t listen to me. Ain’t that something?! Yes sir, boy.”
As you’ll hear, Steve has lived a full life and you can still hear the zest he has for it in this episode of Stories from The Point. Once you’re done listening please feel free to leave a comment. I love to hear from you!
Thanks to patchen and RHumphries at freesound.org for the train sounds.