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Remembering Phil

Original post made on Oct 6, 2009

Artist and free spirit Phil Hellsten, who died suddenly June 23, was a fixture each morning at Peet's Coffee and Tea in Danville. A woman named Antoinette from Grass Valley only heard about his passing much later and, wanting to do something, she left a simple bouquet of red roses and babies breath on "Phil's table" early Monday afternoon. Photo by Dolores Fox Ciardelli. ==B See Editor's Blog below.==

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 5, 2009, 4:40 PM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Stephen
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 6, 2009 at 11:18 am

Thanks for posting this photo. I was at Peet's Coffee and noticed the flowers on the table. It was a bit weird seeing the same image on my computer as I was searching your website.


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Posted by Ashley Starling
a resident of Danville
on Oct 7, 2009 at 11:06 am

I knew phill they way I know so many of my Danville neighbors. Just by passing them on the street everyday. Someone who knew Phill better than I thought the stress of the current economic situation might have had something to do with his passing. No matter what it was I think this winter I am going to do more to reach out to others on Phills behalf.


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Posted by Elaine Fry
a resident of Danville
on Oct 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I knew Phil in a personal friend way only recently and before that remember seeing him for years at various coffee shops...then my reaction was kind of arrogant. When I didn't know him...I thought him "odd"..but no more so than I am when I am being honest with myself. Now I realize Danville is also a little different without him. He dared to be flamboyant and creative in suburbia and that takes courage and a kind spirit. I miss him like many others.


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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2009 at 9:32 am

I met Phil once. You could not help, but to be drawn to him. Kind, strong, good looking, but most of all something special you felt when he would smile and say hello. Some people are just a gift.


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Posted by A Former Danville Res
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2009 at 10:57 am




I sat next to,or across from Phil mornings, afternoons or evenings hundreds of times in one coffee shop or another and always found him to be a complete mystery. He was friendly,handsome, and was always busy working on something that made him smile ironicly, or was 'seriously' reading. I always wondered what his story was, but never initiated a conversation with him, what a waste! I'm so happy to know he was an appreciated artist,and as interesting as I always suspected. My trips to Danville will seem different w/o sharing space with the Starman..... Thanks Danville Weekly for finally introducing us


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