Yes, you could say I'm being slightly sardonic, as Nick was quite far from expecting military rituals.
However this is a use of firearms that I, as a Quaker, can respect. We honor a person and their service. I will have much more to say about Nick as time goes on. Salute.
Against doctor's orders, Nick braved the Seattle folk arts festival and reported to Johnny Stallings that he had a blast. He was not eligible for dialysis, having bucked the establishment, and returned by Amtrak in an exhausted state. Last time he was this low energy, I took him to the ER. This time Johnny Stallings took him home, meeting the train in Vancouver, WA.
Nick and Johnny called the on-duty nephrologist about whether to move up the next dialysis appointment, but Nick was too exhausted to want to deal with a consultation and chose to wait for the next regularly scheduled appointment. He expired soon thereafter, though I do recall chatting by phone. He sounded pretty good.
He'd been weakening though. Bob Quinn, Johnny Stallings and I compared notes on his decline. We're happy he got to Seattle and immersed himself in music, taking his dulcimer in an especially ordered soft case. He died on Walt Whitman's birthday, poetically enough.
From Quinn, with a little help from his friends:
Nick Consoletti, Ph.D. passed away May 31st in his home. He was an original and courageous soul who lived a life of integrity in a unique fashion. Those who knew Nick admired his exuberant and generous spirit. Early on, Nick was influenced by the teacher Krishnamurti, whose message he took to heart when he said that it is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society. Nick chose knowledge and wisdom above all else. He read widely but was particularly influenced by David Bohm, Gregory Bateson, John Cage, and R. Buckminster Fuller. Nick's own degree was in the philosophy of whole systems. He was an accomplished musician and poet, who traveled with his Mac laptop to coffee shops and cultural events from San Francisco to Seattle. It seems fitting that he passed away on Walt Whitman's birthday. Nick adjust returned from his beloved Folklife Festival days before he passed away. He leaves a trail of friends along the West Coast, (and indeed around the world) a stepmother, and a half sister in Massachusetts. Nick will be sorely missed.