“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time – It’s easy”
– Beatles, “All You Need is Love”
The holiday for expressing love goes beyond couples, at times, to stand as a point in time for expressing a humanitarian love for all kinds of people. In Homer, it’s become traditional to remember a man who stood for the spirit of St. Valentine: Brother Asaiah Bates. Each year in a mayoral proclamation, Valentines Day in Homer is dedicated as Brother Asaiah Day.
The man remains a legend on Kachemak Bay though his passing came in 2000, more than a decade ago. Even in this issue, we carry a letter remembering his form of public service: he wrote “love” letters in the editorial section of the newspaper. He sent out kind messages and good energy for a cosmic wholeness to be enjoyed by fellow men and women, children, dogs and any other living creature.
His impact must be strong indeed. A drawing of him remains hung in the Cowles City Council Chambers at City Hall year after faithful year.
Those of us who may not have known Brother Asaiah are fairly close to a few who did know him. A part of Asaiah’s story is memorialized at the local American Legion Post 16 where World War II veterans share their news clippings, photos, uniforms, commendations and sometimes their medals.
The good brother’s is there, telling of his bravery winning several war medals, including a four-leaved bronze clover. Like PBS’s Mr. Rogers, he would go on to live out the principled life of humanitarianism, tilling on the lessons of war’s brutality.
Every mayor since his death 14 years ago, dating back to Mayor Jack Cushing, has proclaimed Valentine’s Day as Asaiah’s Day. Mayor Beth Wythe continued the tradition at Monday night’s council meeting.
There’s much to learn from the former Bare Footer who arrived in Homer in the 1950s. His altruistic traits “demonstrated time and again his selflessness and concern for others through contributions, volunteerism and monetary donations, and moral support to the community and community members.”
Like the words in the Beatle’s song, “All You Need is Love,” the standards set by such special people pass along a message to all of us: there’s power in it. Asaiah likely would very much agree with the old Beatle’s song. All we need is love.
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