My friend Les Patlove died in August. He was the sort of man to whom the saying "salt of the earth" applies. Les and I met nearly thirty years ago as members of a small rural Buddhist outpost, Valley Zendo, in Charlemont, Massachusetts. We bonded through our shared experience of doing long meditation retreats (sesshins) at the Zendo. Starring at a wall for fourteen hours a day was not the easiest way to get to know someone, but through the steadiness and determination that Les displayed I became certain that he would be a good friend, and he was. Les brought many special qualities to our sangha (Zendo community): His strong commitment to the practice was an example that inspired all of us. His knowledge of carpentry and construction helped keep the Zendo property in good shape. And whenever, as is inevitable in community life, challenges arose, he always had well-considered, wise advice to share. In addition to all that, he was a talented musician and a loving husband. He will be sorely missed.