Condolences For Everyone at Chanticleer

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Several of you are familiar with Chanticleer Garden because of its reputation as one of the greatest and ‘edgiest’ gardens in the U.S. Others of you have learned about Chanticleer due to our posting about it on GGW: and in recent months with Dan Benarcik joining our community.

That is why I feel compelled to share this news with you. In the past month, Chanticleer has been struck by two tragedies. First, the son of Peter and Gari Brindle ( Peter is the long time grounds manager at Chanticleer), Maxwell K. Brindle, was killed late last month or earlier this month while riding his bike home one night. I am told that he was 19 years old. And just a week ago, a gardener who began working at Chanticleer while still in high school was killed while riding his motorcycle. His name is Harlon Morse and he was 23 years old.

I am asking, that if the spirit so moves you, that you use this space to post your condolences, thoughts and prayers for the families and for all of the folks at Chanticleer. This is a chance for the gardening community, wherever you live, to come together to express our sympathy to individuals who have suffered tremendous losses. I am also asking that you either cut and paste this post and place it on your blog or else put out a notice on your blog with a link back to GGW. I would like as many of us from the gardening blog community to send our thoughts to those in need. If you do decide to post this notice on your own blog, please let us know so that we can send the information on to the Executive Director at Chanticleer, Bill Thomas.

I do believe in the power of prayer and love. Thank you for participating.

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at

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Fran Sorin
20 comments… add one

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Colleen Vanderlinden July 17, 2008, 5:19 pm

I am terribly saddened to hear about these losses. My thoughts and prayers are with the Brindle and Morse families.

Frances July 17, 2008, 6:04 pm

What a tragedy for both families. We would like to extend our sympathies to all who knew them.

our friend Ben July 17, 2008, 7:29 pm

How horrible, Fran! Any loss to the ranks of gardeners is a loss to us all, and for Chanticleer to be twice struck is just dreadful. My deepest sympathy to Dan, Bill, and all at Chanticleer, and my prayers for the families who have lost promising young sons so senselessly.

Jan July 17, 2008, 9:39 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with the Chanticleer Garden family in this time of tragedy and loss.

gina July 17, 2008, 10:31 pm

I’ll be sending positive thoughts their way. That is just terrible.

carolyngail July 18, 2008, 8:03 am

I was saddened to learn of this great tradgedy and grieve for the Chanticleer families who’ve lost their young sons.

Deepest sympathy and heartfelt prayers to all who were touched by these two .

Sylvia July 18, 2008, 8:23 am

It is so sad, my son was 18 when he was killed in a car accident, so I really feel for the families. They are so young.

As you said I have only heard of Chanticleer Garden through blogs but I have seen some lovely pictures.

Gardening always help with grief, so my advice is keep gardening! Best wishes Sylvia (England)

Mother Nature July 18, 2008, 10:15 am

My heart goes out to you.
With sympathy,

Gail July 18, 2008, 10:48 am

What a terrible loss for the families of these two young men. The folks at Chanticleer must be reeling from the loss of their friends and co-workers. How hard it must be for them to go about their day when something so senseless has happened to two young men they loved. Please add my heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of Matthew and Harlon.

Lola July 18, 2008, 5:10 pm

My prayers are with the families of these two fine people. Also the friends & co-workers. Time & gardening will help ease the pain of loosing these two loved ones.

Pam/Digging July 19, 2008, 1:18 am

I am sorry to hear it, and my sympathies are with their families and the larger Chanticleer family.

Doug Green July 20, 2008, 7:04 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to the parents. We can miss our co-workeers, families and friends but burying your children is gut-wrenching beyond understanding.

Kim July 20, 2008, 11:25 am

I am so sorry to hear this awful news. My thoughts and sympathy go out to these families.

Lisa at Greenbow July 21, 2008, 10:37 am

I am so sorry to hear of this double tragedy.
My prayers for peace and acceptance are
extended to these families and friends.

Chris Woods July 21, 2008, 3:04 pm

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Cosmo July 22, 2008, 2:02 pm

I have put a link to this page on my blog. I wish there were words to ease the pain of the families and friends of these young men–I hope time and faith help to heal these wounds soon.

Layanee July 22, 2008, 8:57 pm

Words are inadequate to express the sorrow I feel for these families. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

Rose July 23, 2008, 4:41 pm

My deepest sympathy to the families and friends of these two young men. Nothing is more difficult to understand than losing a loved one so young.

Laurie Humphreys July 24, 2008, 9:09 am

Thank you, Bill. Thanks for telling me about this, Chris. These blogs warm my heart today.
Love abounds, and I hope that this love reaches Peter and all of the gardeners at Chanticleer — They are all very special people who gave my son his perfect home. There are no words to express my gratitude for this.
My son was happiest at work with his co-worker family. When people asked where he worked, Harlon told them, “paradise”. He and Peter’s, Max will be missed by all.

Elizabeth Rousek Ayers July 24, 2008, 8:43 pm

Chanticleer is a magical place of beauty and peace and now it will also be a place where two spirits live on. I knew of Harlon through Laurie’s proud stories. His death has touched my life as I grieve for her loss and the loss so many people feel, family and friends alike.

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