“I Am a King!”
And Burton Eubank means it. He believes that in everything he does he helps at least one other person. He tends the world as a garden, so that everyone’s success is his success. He says, “I’ll do anything to help everyone succeed. Every day he wakes up and gives thanks and celebrates that intention.
Burton is a fire captain with the Inverness Fire Department; he works with and trains with the Marin County Fire Department; he’s an EMT, carrying two beepers wherever he goes: one for the fire departments and one for the Marin Disaster Council. He also maintains many local trails often ignored by others. He dons his ear protectors, his goggles and grabs a chain saw. We can thank him for keeping down way too much poison oak and stinging nettles. He says he is immune to poison oak because when he was a young boy, a “Miwok Indian dude” told him to eat the spring buds on a poison oak plant so he would be immune the rest of his life. He did and he is. The “dude” also taught him to rub the painful sting of nettles with the sap from horsetails. The two plants often grow together, especially along our streams. He rubbed as directed. Yes!
Burton looks like no one else around here. His red-blond beard and dreadlocks are unmistakable, especially as they fly behind him in the wind as he rides his mountain bike along Sir Francis Drake. He wears his hair this way as a sign of commitment to the ideals of Rastafari. (Actually, this is the second set he’s grown, having lost the first in the Vision fire as he fought it for 28 consecutive days and nights. He says his dreads and beard just melted!
One day before the 1982 flood, Burton’s father died of a brain tumor. For a fifteen year old who adored him, this was an enormous loss, one he carries with him but not so much out of grief but with love. Burton says whenever he loses someone, he focuses on a time when that person was healthy and happy and making a contribution to his life. His commitment to love has followed Burton everywhere, most especially here in the community where he has lived his whole life. He did take time away for college, notably at UC Santa Cruz where he also delivered, personally delivered, his son, Zephyr. Since the moment he put the infant to his bare chest, Zephyr has been ever and always in the heart and consciousness of his dad.
As Zephyr was growing up and attending Shoreline Elementary, Burton was a constant presence there and wherever the kids hung out. He was intent on raising Zephyr to be respectful, and Burton knew you teach children by modeling behaviors. Because he was around so much, not only Zephyr but the whole pack of his buddies hung out with Burton and learned love.
Burton is thankful to Barak Obama for two very personal reasons: actions of the President that brought 18 solar panels free and installed through the Green America Program. Also, Obama reminded Burton about the power of volunteerism to make a difference in this community. Burton heard that suggestion and acted on it.
Burton is a Rastafari, a bass player who works with many reggae bands weekly, a committed gardener, and a certified teacher. He has no complaints. He’s been a vegetarian since he was eighteen. He doesn’t drink alcohol and smokes herbs as a holy sacrament. Burton’s kingship consists entirely of the gifts he receives by the contributions he makes. He says he is a wealthy man.