Bruce McAlister
Nov 5th, 1946 - Aug 18th, 2019

R to L - Bruce McAllister, Tom Giradot, unknown - photo by Rich Levine. They're going out to sea under the Golden Gate Bridge to spread Tom's wife, Barbara's ashes. See another photo and Rick's comment below.

Sept. 30, 2019 - Just learned that Bruce McAllister died in August. There was a memorial service for friends and family in Oakland a week ago weekend and Reb led a service at Green Gulch during evening service. Apparently he was living in a sober house in Berkeley and the man that rents out rooms there discovered that Bruce had died when he checked his room.

I remember Bruce at Tassajara in 1971 and later working in the kitchen there where he got a reputation as a good cook - for students and guests. Also I can see him now in mind's eye at the City Center and Green Gulch. He worked at Greens longer than anyone except maybe Ulysses or Annie Summerville. He was good natured and easy to work with and be with and when later I went to Greens as a customer, I remember he was good friends with Issan. Katrinka and I would try to sit where he'd be our waiter. Gyate gyate.... - dc

Alan Block: A memory from 71 or 72: I remember that Bruce McAllister used to do zazen at the old baths. He would sit in lotus on one of the low walls on the way to the steam rooms. As a new student, I was impressed although a bit puzzled. A sweet guy, always friendly and responsive. So long buddy, see you later.

Ed Brown was strongly responsible for getting me to Zen Center because of the Tassajara Bread Book. ... Another person who was a great inspiring cook was Bruce McAllister, who's still working at Greens. - Annie Somerville interviewed in spring/summer 2002 Windbell.

Teah Strozer: At Tassajara there was a rule against music but I was there in the summer of '71 and Bruce McAllister and I would go down creek and play music. I'd play the flute and Suzuki Roshi was open to that. Once Bruce and I were playing improvisational Jazz at a beach by a tree going down stream - it’s not like that now - and Suzuki Roshi came by with a group on a day off on the way to the narrows and they said we shouldn’t be playing music and he said no no I want to hear and he sat down and listened to us.

Mick Sopko - Bruce was probably playing a guitar with Teah. He was married to my little sister, Deb, and they had a couple of kids before they separated. My sister gave me these dates: Born Nov 5th , 1946 - passed Aug 18th, 2019. More info may be coming your way through the webs and laptops of connection, Blackbird, fly...


From Facebook

Julie Freiberg: Farewell good friend.....many memories of you.

Jeff Bickner:  I remember Bruce very Treasurer at GGF and as a co-worker at Greens. My favorite memory was when Zen Center owned that artist boat (Vallhalla?) in Sausalito, a real headache. They called Bruce as Treasurer during a January storm crying out "Help we're sinking!" Bruce's response was "Quick, tow it into the middle of the Bay".

Robert Anderson: Bruce was a sweet guy ... he is one of the men that made the institution into a VIABLE institution...every bit of a “Tommy” or a “David” or a “Decent Human Being”- I loved as a person. He was heavily into Jimi Hendrix. The photo does not capture his acerbic and playful character... full of stories and good humor!

Teresa Rivera: My dear friend Bruce. I loved that guy. Fond memories of Green Gulch, Greens, and the 2 weeks we spent with him, Deborah and my family in Barcelona and small village I’m the Pyrenees.

Myo Denis Lahey: Oh gosh... The tide is on the ebb... Off we go... Bye for now, Bruce...

Ann Overton: Oh oh Bruce. I remember him from Green Gulch Farm in summer, 1974. He worked in the kitchen and I did childcare. Sometimes the kids would come cook in the kitchen. Oh Bruce.

Jon Bernie:  Bruce was a great guy. I still have the wooden spoon for my oryoki he gave me that he carved from Tassajara madrone. Happy Trails Bruce & Lots of Love

Britton Pyland: Be at peace, Bruce a good friend and good guy.
His father was my English teacher at John Burroughs Jr. High in L.A.

Rick Levine: I always liked that guy--he was smart, funny, good to be around, and a model practitioner. I knew he'd had a serious alcohol problem but wasn't in touch for 30 years or so.

Eric Roos: Sorry to hear this. I remember him well!

Stephen Bodian: Ah, Bruce. Rest in true nature. We were at Tassajara together in 1971-72. Sweet memories!Neil J. Rubenking: I remember Bruce well. And from more recently than one might expect. When daughter Katherine worked at Greens To Go, Bruce and Ulysses “cool breeze” Lowrey were both working at Greens.

Taiyo Lipscomb: Oh my ... i didn't know. I shall miss him greatly. Sigh ... bye, bye Bruce...

Daniel Kaplan: So sad. Safe travels, Bruce.

Basya Petnick: Yes, we are leaving now—each day, each week, each month, each year.

Chris Fortin: Oh my!

Bruce Fortin: Bruce did the food at chris and mine wedding at green gulch so long ago, thank you Bruce

L to R: Jerry Fuller, Niels Holm, Bruce McAllister at the SFZC City Center, 1979  - photo by Barbara Wenger

R to L - unknown, Bruce McAllister, Tom Giradot, unknown - photo by Rich Levine. They're going out to sea under the Golden Gate Bridge to spread Tom's wife, Barbara's ashes. See other photo above.

Rick Levine writes: Bruce and I sailed under the Golden Gate with Tom Girardot, bringing Barbara's ashes to scatter, she'd taken her life recently. I got nauseated sick, and the wind blew Barbara's flung ashes back on us, especially me. Bruce, also Tom, was kind as could be, but also tuned in to the hilarity of things. Picture me on the deck in vomit and ash; picture Bruce smiling, whispering sweetly, “would you like me to roll you into the Bay?”

DC - Tis sad that Bruce followed in Barbara's footsteps. Makes me wish I'd been in touch recently.