In the all too brief time I personally knew Mel King, thanks to an introduction by another old friend, Cheryl Holmes Ph.D, I think it can be safely said he would not consider any of his actions throughout his life as deserving recognition beyond what others might or have done.
To him, the importance was taking considerate action which produced results.
One of my most persistent memories was during the early project meetings discussing the adaptation of "Chain of Change", when he would close his eyes in deep concentration before answering a question or commenting on a proposed visual rendition of a theme or sub-theme. That extended to correlating choice of music.
He was very attuned to nuance.
He didn't have to deliberate when reflecting on his past, such as relating the story of his family emigrating to the US, believing in a "land of promise" and realizing treatment as 2nd class citizens; or reminiscing on bygone neighborhoods and their diversity. His wife Joyce would be on hand with refreshments and occasionally, after some initial cajoling, contribute her insights.
Obviously, he was also indispensable in helping to plan the organization of the project.
Many of the photos we could access were from newspaper clippings; one was of a confrontation on the Tent City grounds during the protest in the late 1960's. I observed that (it was because) he wasn't wearing his bow tie, which got him to give up a smile.
We had to terminate the weekly meetings after a few years and the pandemic really changed our course. For the time being it was decided to create a virtual instead of live action presentation.
As you may know there are three stages in Mel's concept: Service, Organization and Institution. The current version is still a work in progress, owing in no small amount to the multifaceted layers encompassing the stages. Combined with technical challenges among other factors, completion is taking a bit longer than anticipated.
Fortunately, a partial preview for the family was able to be provided last year. The full effort will materialize. Another development is underway, about which more will be shared in due time.
Mel gave me a signed copy of "Chain of Change" that included the line "thanks for being a link." It is one of my highest honors.
10.20.1928 - 03.28. 2023. Rest In Power Mel.