Teaching Cancer to Cry

Ezra Caldwell

Daniel Ezra Caldwell died at home on May 24, 2014, after six years with cancer. He was cared for by his wife Hillary and other family and friends, with the support of the hospice team from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Born in 1973, Ezra grew up in Putney, Vermont.  As a boy, he moved from one passion to another – juggling, acting, rock climbing, building crossbows and puppets, making constant use of his fathers’ woodworking shop. From the age of eight, he spent much of each summer in northern Vermont with the Bread and Puppet Theater, performing as the baby gorilla in their annual circus. After graduating from the Buxton School in Williamstown, MA, he lived the village of Santa Marta in El Salvador for a year during the post-conflict reconstruction, working in a woodworking shop with ex-combatants.

He attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, first focusing on art and design but then making an unlikely switch as a complete novice to the modern dance department. After graduating, he danced for Momix and Gabriel Masson Dance, then spent a year in a masters’ program in dance at Bretton Hall, part of the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Here he began to use video and persuaded an entire institution that there were two of him, the twins Daniel and Ezra, as documented in abundant footage. One of them attended the masters’ program; the other was a chef in a local Thai restaurant. His cooking benefited from the year as much as his art. He left without completing the degree, stubbornly determined that a written thesis should be unnecessary for an arts degree.

On returning to New York, Ezra choreographed and performed with his own small company, at times collaborating with his musician brother, Thomas Bartlett. He had work commissioned by universities in Belgium and Holland, performed in festivals in Europe and the US, worked as artist-in-residence at Sarah Lawrence, and at dance workshops in Lima Peru.  For almost ten years, he taught at DanceSpace NY, later Dance New Amsterdam, gathering a following for his athletic and demanding classes.

In 2007 he moved away from dance and teaching, turning back to the involvement with fabrication and design that had preoccupied him since childhood, and which had been refined during summers and other stretches doing construction and cabinet making.  He had for a while been assembling bikes from components, putting them together for friends and family and dance students. But now he learned how to weld and quickly became a respected custom builder and designer, turning out his elegant Fast Boy Cycles in a shop in his brother’s basement next door.

In 2009, Ezra was married to Hillary Nanney in a fisherman’s church in the La Have Islands, Nova Scotia.  Ezra had been visiting the islands every summer since he was a boy, and he and Hillary spent many weeks over recent years kayaking, mussel gathering and exploring with their beloved dog Putney Sue.

Ezra was always, in one way or another, a performer and an artist, but he was happiest when his creative impulses locked on to the practical side of life. Beautiful bikes met his needs better than fine art. He liked performing more as a cook than as a dancer.  He created and enacted a rich, unique life and death and he never lacked an audience.

Ezra decided a few years ago to forego further treatment for his cancer, and spent most of his remaining months deeply engaged in the things that mattered most to him – making bikes and other objects, mountain biking, photographing the world around him, cooking, playing pool. As his capacities diminished, he seemed always able to adapt and find new ways to satisfy his passion for productivity and mastery.  Courageous, independent, opinionated and stubborn to the end, Ezra amazed, delighted and exhausted his family and close friends.  At the same time he entertained and inspired thousands of people through his blog, which demystified cancer, chemo and colostomy bags with flair and humor.

Ezra is survived by his wife Hillary, his brothers Zachary Caldwell, Sam Caldwell and Thomas Bartlett, sister Mary Bartlett, parents Sheridan and Edward Bartlett, nephew Gunnar Caldwell and grandfather Alexis Nason, as well as numerous cousins and other relatives.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a donation in Ezra’s name, the family asks that you consider one of the following:

Recycle-A-Bicycle’s Earn-A-Bike program is a school-based program that teaches students basic bicycle mechanics through RAB curriculum. Students then volunteer time after school and earn hours in exchange for a bicycle frame. Participants build bikes for themselves, friends, and family members, too.

To donate please visit: https://secure.qgiv.com/for/rec and click on “Ezra Caldwell Memorial Fund.”

Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) is a not-for-profit home health care agency that provides direct home care by physicians, nurses, rehabilitation therapists, psychologists, and more.  For the last year of his life, Ezra became a passionate advocate for palliative care, due largely to his experience in VNSNY’s Hospice Program, as well as the Palliative Care wing at Mt. Sinai Hospital.

To donate online, please visit: www.vnsny.org/community/support-vnsny/donate; by phone, call: 212-609-1525; or by post, send checks to: 107 E. 70th St. NY NY 10021 (Make checks payable to: Visiting Nurse Service of New York; memo: In Memory of Ezra Caldwell).

270 Replies to “Teaching Cancer to Cry”

  1. I’ve followed this blog for so long I don’t remember when I found Ezra.

    I met Ezra once, when he was in Chicago visiting family. He walked into the bookstore where I worked and I recognized him immediately. He was warm and friendly and completely chuffed that I recognized who he was. We spoke for over an hour, and it was a small slice of time, but he talked to me, a stranger with warmth like we’d known each other forever.

    The world is a dimmer place without Ezra in it. Much warmth and love to Hillary and his family and friends. <3

  2. Hillary, although this day was inevitable, I am still overcome by a deep sadness. But also a joy, that the world had someone like Ezra. And that he had you. Thank you for sharing and I am so sorry for your loss. For all all of our loss. Blessings…


  3. Ezra, we are looking up at you now, knowing you are enjoying your new view. Hillary, our hearts are always going to be with you now.

    Love, life, forever and ever, amen.


  4. Ezra’s family, especially Hillary and Putney, Thank you for allowing all of us to take a very small part of this journey with you, to know a fraction of the incredible person that made up Ezra Caldwell who is probably now back on a specially crafted bike, freewheeling, free of pain, joyful again, at peace. With heartfelt sympathy, heartache and sadness for your painful incalculable loss, xo, big love, from one of not too many.

    The true lover is the one who on your final day opens a thousand doors.

  5. Hillary, you and all of Ezra’s family and friends are in my heart, I am so deeply sorry for you loss. I never met Ezra or got the wood fenders that brought me to him but I was immediately drawn to his energy and consider myself lucky to have ever been in his presence, even if only virtually.

  6. In reading Ezra’s blog, I was always amazed by his passion for life and his energy to explore — and devour — as much as he could. Reading today of all his other explorations and accomplishments makes me realize just how very exceptional — and humble — a human being he was. You have been blessed, Hillary, to have walked a portion of your life next to Ezra and I offer you my most sincere condolences for your loss. Our lives are all the richer for having known Ezra, even if only through his blog. Much love to you, Hillary, and to all Ezra’s family, friend and buddy, Putney.

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I have one of Ezra’s photos of Putney framed on my wall to remind me of my own beloved dogs I lost in a divorce and of the beautiful life and vision of a man I never met but felt I knew more intimately than some of my own family through his blog. Warmest thanks for allowing us into your life and sincerest condolences for your loss. <3

  8. the most perfect of photos and write-up of a life. thanks so much for allowing us access to your life via this blog, heartbroken to hear this news, love, gwendolyn

  9. What an incredible life. If only we could all live so freely and passionately. Rest in peace, Ezra. You will be missed.

  10. Nothing more than subscribing the words of the other comments and expressing good thoughts for Hillary. These years of sharing were worth more than your family will ever imagine to so many people.
    Bye Ezra

  11. Though I’m not surprised to see this post, it’s sad nonetheless. There are some people out there that give off such good vibes – even to a ton of strangers over the internet – that you sometimes irrationally hope that they’ll be given some special consideration from the Universe. Very sorry for your loss, but it does sound like in spite of everything, Ezra’s was a life well-lived. Here’s to spreading to the love…

  12. So sorry…I will miss his posts….thoughts and prayers to all…enjoy your new journey pain free and bag free….Janene

  13. Hillary, I am so sorry for your loss. Ezra was an amazing human being, but you know that. My husband found inspiration from Ezra’s blog before his death from cancer last summer. We both cheered Ezra on in his fight, amazed at his passion and strength. The world is a bit darker without the light that our two men added to it. We were blessed to have loved them. Stand Strong.

  14. Sigh…just very heavy hearted at seeing this. Lost my dad to cancer several years ago and while you hold out for a miracle that never comes. At the end you realize the miracle was in knowing these individuals and how they touched our hearts and left their mark in the world. You guys will forever be in my thoughts and heart. Thank you for sharing your lives with us.

  15. I am sorry Hillary. I knew this day would come but it didn’t make this easier. Or the tears go away. RIP Ezra you will be missed. Love Todd

  16. Ride in Peace Fast Boy. We will miss your words, photos and above all you lust for life. So very sorry for your loss Hillary.

  17. Even thought I never met Ezra in person I followed this blog for the last two years. I admired how he never stopped creating and shared his journey so honestly. I am so sorry for your Hillary and Ezra’s Family.

  18. Hillary, Thank you for this post. I never met Ezra, not even sure how I found his blog years ago, but I feel as if I have lost a friend. He had an enormous impact on so many through all of his artistic endeavors. Sending you and the rest of his family friends much love.

  19. I met Ezra on a mountain bike ride at Blue Mountain. One of my fellow riders was awestruck be the workmanship on the bike being pulled off the car next to us. At first glance, I was like its pretty nice…but upon careful examination, I was able to see all the impressive butt welds and frame design. Ezra, in a blunt response to our gawking said its for sale…’You can have it for about $10,000. I’m dying and the money will go to Hospice.’ And so began my bond with a man I met only that 1 time. His story inspired me, captivated me and made me want to live my life as I felt he did, with passion and grace.
    I am so sorry for Hillary, his family and ALL his friends…but I am glad to have been able to share in his brightness, for he truly lived life the way we all should!! He touched me and changed me and for that I am grateful.

  20. Ezra, thank you for everything, and godspeed. I hope you knew just how many people you touched and inspired during your too-brief time here – you were an amazing man. My condolences to family and friends – so very, very sorry for your loss.

  21. My heart is broken for you Hill and his family. He has inspired me, made me laugh and made me cry. I have read this blog for five years and awaited every moment and Savored them all. I am sad the world has lost this rennisaunce man.
    I wish I had been able to meet him or be in some kind of meaningful contact as he taught us so much.

    Again, I am very sorry for your loss.
    Deepest regards
    Scott King

  22. I never met Ezra, but I admired his work and spirit. My condolences to Hillary, Putney, and everyone touched by his loss.

  23. Beautiful memories above, both in the text and the comments.

    RIP Ezra, you were a through-the-screen mentor and inspiration. Thank you!

    Our thoughts continue to go out to Hillary, Putney and the entire family.

  24. I read a few days ago that Ezra had died, and I lit a candle for him. To read this incredible tribute to his life today was amazing. We always could tell, through his blog that there was so much going on inside Ezra but to read how much he did in his lifetime made me smile, here at my desk through my tears.

    Thank you.

  25. Goodbye Ezra, you will always be remembered and missed. Much love to Hillary & Putney, siblings & parents, and everyone who was touched by Ezra. RIP my virtual friend.

  26. I had the honor of meeting Ezra once when he visited San Francisco and then followed his fantastic journey through life via emails and his blog. He will live on through his beautiful legacy: art, words and the love of his family and friends. I’m sure wherever he is now, he’s creating something amazing. xoxo

  27. Farewell, Ezra. You lived the lives of five men. Time to rest. You will be missed by more people than you could ever imagine. Our love to all those who loved you most. F.

  28. Like so many others, I found Ezra long ago on the internet, through his photography. The internet and social media is an odd universe that creates inexplicable relationships. Even though I never met Ezra personally, he has indelibly affected my life. He will continue to be a direct inspiration…to seek out those things in life that I have a passion for, to live my life with purpose, to speak openly and honestly, to surround myself with strong and loving people.

    Much love to Hillary, Putney, and all of Ezra’s family, near and far.

  29. My condolences and thoughts to you, I have followed his life and bike creations since finding his Flickr feed. I am just starting the road to create bikes and he has been an inspiration, thank you Ezra for your blog, your photos and you’re wonderful bikes. Hillary take strength from the effect he had on many of us who never met him, and the lucky ones who did.

  30. Oh Ezra. Such crushing news, but not expected. What an inspiration you were and will always be. You touched so many lives with you quiet strength. My heart breaks for Hill and Putney and everyone else who must be devastated. Big love to you– may all of your trails be smooth. <3

  31. I have only known about Ezra for a short time, but his blog touched me deeply. I am deeply saddened to learn about his passing. If you are defined by the impact you have on people then Ezra was a remarkable person, who will be missed greatly. Hope and strength to Hillary and family in these dark days.

  32. I will never forget Ezra Caldwell. He was truly one in a million in all the positive ways. Funny that he wouldn’t write the thesis for his Master’s’- he had such a gift for writing and would have blown the paper out of the water! But that doesn’t surprise me – he did everything his way with 100% integrity and passion. I really loved his honesty and humor. Where he got the energy to do all that he did is remarkable. It would be extraordinary for a perfectly healthy person to accomplish all that he accomplished.

    I’ll always cherish the one photo that I was so lucky and fortunate to order online before they were all sold out.

    Thank you, Mrs. Caldwell, for letting us know. My heart goes out to you, your family, friends and Putney.

  33. I am so sorry for your loss. I followed Ezra’s blog and photography for over a year and I knew this was inevitable going by what he wrote, but it’s still a shock to me. Such a wonderful artist and person. A great loss. R. I. P. Thank you for all the lovely work and the people you have inspired, Ezra. My condolences go out to his wife, family and friends. 🙁

  34. Never met Ezra, but found his blog and followed his courageous path. Rest in Peace. My best to you who knew and love him.


  35. Although I already knew of Ezra’s passing, I read these words with disbelief and sadness. I wish in a way I could unread them, that they weren’t true. I’ve been following Ezra’s blog for about 5 years now, since one of his photos happened to catch my eye on Flickr and I was pulled into his story and the beauty of his life with Hillary, Putney, his bikes, and all his loving friends and family.

    I will miss you Ezra and send all my love and energy to your people right now.

  36. I befriended Ezra in the early days of Flickr, and developed a fast respect for his eye for composition and design, as well as his generally amazing approach to life. It seems like everything he did, he did with gusto.

    While never met in person, I can say that his interactions with me online, (and the small pieces of his work), have enriched my own life greatly. He really did make the world a better place.

    Best wishes to Hillary, Putney Sue, and all his friends and family.

  37. Dear Hill, and dear Ezra, wherever you may be:

    Thank you for sharing the luminous peeks into your amazing and inspiring life. I have learnt so much from Ezra’s words, I don’t even think I could put it into words myself!

    I will forever cherish the two prints gracing our walls, “Putney and the Injuns” and a beautiful self portrait of Ezra. And when my four year old asks me who is that bright-eyed man with the thin trickle of blood running down his nose, I will tell him he was an artist, a teacher and an inspiration. And maybe then I’ll find the words to tell him what I learnt.

    Thank you for this beautiful eulogy. BIG LOVE to you, Putney and all your family.

  38. Unbelievably sad news, he was an amazing person who touched the life of many he didn’t even know. Sending much love to his family and keeping him in my thoughts.
    Gone but not forgotten.

  39. Ezra’s story changed me in a profound way. Though I never met him, he taught me so much about how to really live. Sending much love to all of you.

  40. My first encounter with Ezra was on Flickr, in a group called ‘Naked Bed jumpers’. There he was, naked, in a very elegant yet contorted pose, elevated above the bed about three or four feet. I thought, who is this amazing individual?! That was probably six or seven years ago. I had the good luck to be able to spend a little time with Ezra over bicycles, and to meet Hill and Putney too, and of course was completely addicted to his brilliant expresssions both verbal and photographic. Although it was inevitable, and I have been thinking about him so much of late without any news, I am very very sorry to hear of his passing.
    My deepest condolences to Hillary and Family and friends close to Ez. He was truly an exemplary human being, with magical powers to live a life to the utmost. R I P.

  41. Rest in peace, Ezra. The world is a little less bright without you. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.

  42. I can only echo the above sentiments. I too first discovered Ezra’s presence on Flickr, was fortunate to purchase some fenders from him and followed his Flickr stream, blog and website with enthusiasm.
    Thank you, Hillary, for the beautiful eulogy. I never met your husband but I am saddened by his passing and will miss his updates and creativity.

    My deepest condolences to you all.
    Big love

  43. I like Thomas’ post, I’ll re-use his words: “Ride in Peace, Fast Boy”.
    To his family, who survives him, I’m sorry for your loss.
    It’s very kind of you to encourage people to donate.
    Even though I didn’t know him other than through his photos and blog, it feels weird.

  44. With gratitude for knowing you all through Ezra’s words and images, and sorrow for your (our) loss. I will miss you.

  45. Wow, so sorry to hear this. What an inspiration Ezra was- is. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  46. My condolences, Hillary – I’ve been following Ezra online for several years, and was inspired time and time again by his writings, his photos, and his recipes.

  47. Though I never met Ezra, I felt like I had. Such a wonderful, complex, creative, humorous, and strong person. I’ll miss his writing, ogling the fine craftsmanship of his products, and his recipes, but I’ll continue to make the later–it’s a wonderful legacy and a way to keep one small part of him alive going forward. RIP, Fast Boy. Strength and peace to you, Hilliary.

  48. I am so very sorry for this loss. Ezra’s family (including Putney, of course), friends, blog followers, and indeed the world have lost an incredible citizen. Thank you for sharing your words and wisdom.

  49. Dear Ezra,
    Maybe you died (who can say for sure?), but if so, you did it with love, courage, grace, humility, and humor. I’m very sorry for those you’ve left behind – I know they will miss you terribly. But I also know they must be extremely proud of you.
    Either suddenly or eventually we will all follow you. You’ve set a very high bar. To you, I say congratulations on a final, flawless, piece of work! Bravo!

  50. Rest in Peace, Ezra. I enjoyed reading your entries, and love your hand made creations. Your Humanity is appreciated.

  51. Stumbled across this blog a couple years ago because I like bikes, but kept coming back because of Ezra and his story. I love people who roam – and realized only after reading this last message just how far Ezra roamed. It was a lovely journey, he had many gifts and shared them elegantly. Thanks, Ezra, you will be remembered.

  52. One of the most spectacular vicarious experiences of social media through Flickr and Facebook has been the generous sharing of this life. May we all find ways to perpetuate the grace, courage, and beauty shown by his example. Well done, sir.

  53. Ezra inspires and will continue to do so for years to come. His dedication and passion for so much encouraged me to follow my passion for photography over more mundane career pursuits. We are all saddened by his passing and hope that his legacy is a spirit of adventure, misadventure, and celebration of life. I will ride my bike today and everyday thinking of you Ezra, HIllary, and Putney.

  54. Jesus, what a beautiful man and what a beautiful life. Hillary, you were clearly both so lucky. Thanks for letting us know, and big love to all.

  55. Some of my fondest memories as a child were my days when the Caldwell brothers would visit the Putney Grammar School. I must have been all of 6 when I first remember meeting Ezra. He filled my little heart immediately, and I was smitten. When I was the lucky gal at age 6 who got to ride on his shoulders as we walked up from school into the apple orchards I could not think of anything more I could hae ever wanted. When I do the math now he was not much older than 19 at the time. I was a young girl so enthralled and mistified by his amazing manner, kindness and abundant energy. I will always remember Ezra one of the most endearing of souls because of how he could make this heart of mine float away with happiness at age 6. Thank you.

  56. Big Love to you
    May angels lead him onto his next adventure, I am sure there are trails to ride and most excellent foods to enjoy

    Thank you for sharing your life Ezra, I am a better person because of it…

  57. Thank you for posting this for all of us, and for allowing yet another total stranger to offer my condolences and warm thoughts. I am sure there has been an outpouring of grief and affection and I hope that the richness of that will provide some comfort to you all now, and in the weeks and months to come.

  58. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to follow the last years of Ezra’s life and to be inspired by his energy, skill and love for his family, friends and life.

    Thank you Ezra. Thank you Hill. Thank you Putney Sue.

  59. Found Ezra a few years back. If I saw a post of his pop up in my reader, it was the first I read. He had such a way with words. Will miss seeing him in my feeds. He was a bright spot in the day. So sorry for your loss, Hillary. 🙁

  60. Ixcatl Custome Messenger Bag offers its condolences to the entire family as well as his wife, brothers and your pet, so savemos, Daniel esforforzo what she liked and was passionate about, and one so I struggle with his illness, wherever you are, Daniel Ezra Caldwell, RIP, that God has you in His holy glory, a follower of Mèxico Ixcatl Custom Messenger Bags

  61. I followed the trail of photos of dancers and Nova Scotia, and stayed to support through the cancer journey. The videos of Thai cuisine are a favorite! And loved (re)discovering Glen Hansard here… All the best to those he leaves behind. What an amazing force of life!

  62. Our condolences to the family and friends. What a full life he had in a short time – a true artist and craftsman. We are better for his life and works.
    I look for Ezra riding the Ultimate across the Rainbow Bridge.

    ‘every time I put my ass on that Swift…..’

  63. How very, very sad. Ezra touched my life, too. With gratitude for his insightful, honest, brave gifts to the world, and in deep sorrow, I join in your grief from Warsaw, Poland.

  64. Farewell Ezra. It was a pleasure following you for the past few years. Thanks for showing me that no matter what happens, we can always choose to live the fuck out of this life.

    Stay strong, Hillary and Putney – we’re all thinking of you.

  65. Perfect photo – Ezra is giving us one last look as he heads off on next adventure. Godspeed to a virtual friend and condolences to those he left behind.

  66. All we should want is evidence of a life well lived, something Ezra has in spades. He’s touched so many and been such an inspiration in his ability to live life. May I be blessed to have the same and may Ezra be ever the reminder of how good and full a life can be. I consider myself one of the lucky ones, watching from afar as he danced his way through everything with grace, dignity, and humor.

    To Hillary and Ezra’s Family & Close Friends: I hope the memories of him bring smiles to your faces and help carry you through the dark times.

    To Ezra: Good luck, thank you, and much love.

  67. Because of him, the world is a brighter, more beautiful place. So sad he has gone (and so sorry for his loved ones’ loss), but so so glad he was here. ‘Live freely’ is what I heard from every message, image, work of art he created. Fast Boy lives on in all of us, screaming at the weight of the sea, reveling in its depth, its magnitude, its life.

  68. It was your cooking that drew me into your orbit, and your big love that kept me captive. I will always be a better man because of you, Ezra.

    You showed us what life could be if we were brave and loving.

    My god how we will miss you.

  69. I was the Director of the University of the Arts School of Dance when Ezra came to see me and asked to audition. Never having had a dance class, ever, his audition was hilarious but he showed such potential, athleticism, spontaneity and humor that we accepted him immediately. He was a delightful person and I was so proud he really did graduate with his degree in dance. I never read his blog but know that with his huge intelligence, it was fabulous and unique. I wish his family my most sincere condolences.

  70. With reverence and gratitude for the light of a fully realized human glimpsed through his blog and photographs, I send condolences and will certainly make contributions in Ezra’s name. Godspeed.

  71. I found Ezra’s blog after I had been given a 6 month expiration date from colon cancer, I was inspired to get out there and live. Since then I’ve learned to skateboard, rock climb, river raft and work on my art, after I had given up most hope. Ezra had a rare and unique spirit which I will never forget. Blessings, Ezra, to you and your wife & family & Putney. I will miss your blog posts. Big love!

  72. Reading this breaks my heart, but what a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. Rest in peace Ezra. You will never be forgotten. Hillary, my thoughts are with you and his family and friends.

  73. Pingback: Ezra - Page 2
  74. Although I never met Ezra, through reading his blog, I feel as if I knew him. I have a sense of who he was and what he liked, all because he chose to share it with me and the thousands of others that have read his many posts. When I found out of his passing through a fellow blogger, I was overcome sadness and somberness; his writings truly have touched me and he has inspired me in more ways than one – for that I am grateful.

    My thoughts and prayers for you, Hillary, and the rest of his family.

  75. Ezra opened his shop to me, taught me about frame building, and had me over just to bullshit. He was always more interested in talking about my life than his. And in the past year, he was always more interested in discussing my physical well-being than his own. He had a passion for people. He taught not by talking, but by showing. His biggest lesson, be it making bicycles or living or dying, was that if it’s going to be on your terms, you’ve got to figure it out for yourself. I’m so pleased that his exit was a private affair. A life lived so large will never really end anyway. Big love. Fast Boy out. <3

  76. I appreciated his honesty and love of bikes let alone all the other things he was passionate about throughout his life. I will carry a piece of him around as I do things like cook good food, ride my bikes , begin a new life in his home state. Thanks for your candor and humor. Grace to those he leaves behind.

  77. Thank you Ezra for sharing your whimsical, inspirational, and honest life. I never knew you, but I learned so much from you. Like many, I grew to care about you; there was just something so magnetic and engaging. You will be remembered fondly. If there’s any peace to be found from your passing, it’s that your story made thousands of people lead better lives.

    Big love <3

  78. So grateful to have been a part of the community that Ezra built online through his photography and then his blog. Hillary, Peter and I send our sincerest condolences.

  79. thank you for sharing your personnal teachings Ezra.
    condolences to his wife, family and friends.
    i loved reading his blog.

  80. Hillary, thank you so much for this beautiful tribute to Ezra. He was brave, and talented, and strong and spirited and awesome. He’s been such an inspiration. I’ll echo what others have said, and thank you for sharing him with us. Love from SoCal –

  81. Like so many other people here, I never met Ezra but I feel like I knew him over the last four or five years, and I thought about him often over the last two. So many people talk about how they’re going to do this and they’re going to do that, and it’s nothing but lip service – but Ezra seemed like the kind of guy who actually just went out and lived life to the fullest. It seemed like even cancer could not stop him from doing that. The world is a worse place without him. My condolences to Hillary, his parents and friends, but know that your awesome guy made a difference to the lives of so, so many people. R.I.P.

  82. Well I’ll be opening a bottle of the finest Australian hooch and cooking up a gorgeous, generous and flavourful meal in honour of a man I never met but have such a regard for. A badass of the highest order.

    My gratitude for your story, my respect for the way you lived it.

  83. I, too, never met Ezra but he touched my life through his words and pictures. I know no other words for now other than I’m sorry for your loss and for the world’s loss. May you all find some peace as you begin your lives anew.

  84. I had the pleasure to study with Ezra at Bretton Hall and I remember him well and especially the videos he created over the year he was in the UK as I helped in a small way with the production.
    At the time I met Ezra I had never considered the opportunities for incorporating dance into the music I had been composing and Ezra opened my eyes to new ideas and possibilities. These ideas I now teach to my students in the UK and I will be forever grateful to Ezra.

    Rest in peace

  85. Eternally an inspiration. Powerful example of being REAL and how in sharing we all connect with more inspiration than ever before. Love to you and yours Ezra.

  86. Like many, I never met Ezra but was deeply touched and inspired by the many lives he led and lived…by his enormous spirit, courage and creativity. And since I live in Brattleboro, felt a sort of neighborly kinship. My heartfelt condolences to Hillary, Putney Sue and his family.

  87. After my 5 year old son watched Ezra’s choreography at a concert at Dance Space we all went upstairs for an after party. Dylan started dancing to the music and tried to emulate Ezra’s physical, beautiful movement. The next thing I knew…Ezra was on the floor with Dylan and this magical improvisation took place. Dylan is now 16…and he still remembers how special that was for him. God bless Ezra…bless Hillary and his family. Our deepest sympathy for this profound loss.

  88. Goodbye dear Ez,

    I gotta quote Cicero: “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living.”
    You will be remembered and missed so much by so many people in the world. Family, friends and total strangers like me. It was great to “know” you. You are a lifetime inspiration for me.

    I think Ezra is not resting now. His soul is busy travelling in space this very moment, looking for a new great place to be reborn…
    Have a wonderful next life my friend!

    Love from Copenhagen

  89. Hillary, it’s been a long time since Lincoln Center. I wish you all the love, support, and space you need. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

    Ezra, your class kicked my ass so hard I never came back. 🙂 Thanks for your inspiring presence, your unflagging humor, and your courageous example.

  90. To the late Ezra and all his family.
    Having discovered you last year when inspired by the art of frame building, your story was palpable and brought tears to my normally desert dry eyes.
    I’m truly inspired by all of your actions and enthusiasm for life and family. You were passionate about your interests and determined to see things through properly.
    You have my thoughts, and I hope that all family and friends can be strong through this time and be grateful for having ever met the highly respectable Ezra.
    You never knew me, but i’ve been reading avidly with fingers crossed for you.
    From another stranger, this time from the UK, bless you all.

  91. Hillary, I met you and Ezra in December 2010 — I’d just gotten back from Afghanistan and was visiting NY for the first time.

    I knew of Ezra through Flickr, and earlier in 2010 I had put my brother Brandon in long-distance touch with him, as Brandon was also going through cancer at the time. Ezra emailed my brother back immediately and they even had phone conversations in which Ezra was encouraging and cheering him on through the scary, hard, shitty time of treatment. He was an invaluable source of strength for Brandon, all the way across the country, without ever having met him in person.

    Then I found myself in NY after a hard time in Afghanistan, and Ezra invited me into your home, poured me some whiskey, and talked so much hope into my traumatized soul. We walked to the pho place down the street, and went on a bike ride after that. He rode the assless and I rode one of the touring bikes. About my troubled time, he said it would get better … and it did. He kept in touch with me for a while after that, encouraging me along the way.

    Just wanted to share my and my family’s memories of Ezra with the world — memories I won’t ever forget. Miss you, Ez.

    Hillary, I don’t know what it’s like to have struggled alongside for so long, loved so hard, had so many adventures together, and now be here. I just wish I could give back to you some of what Ezra gave to me. Big hug, a listening ear and much love from Austin, TX.

  92. Heart. Broken. For Hill, Putney, your family and all of us who were lucky enough to get pulled into Ezra’s beautiful, spinning orbit. I was lucky enough to get one of the Fast Boy Cycling jerseys and I’ll wear it this morning when out for a ride in the Bay Area. Not only did Ezra teach cancer to cry but he taught all of us how to live a Big Life with Big Love. I, for one, am a better person for it.

  93. A beautiful life, well-lived, and a beautiful blog. Our sympathies to Ezra’s family & Zach’s.

  94. Después de más de cinco años leyendo tu blog y teniendo el placer de poder intercambiar contigo creaciones, comidas y pensamientos me siento realmente triste. Todos los días tengo un pensamiento para ti, por supuesto pata Hill y tu gran familia y amigos. Has sido siempre una referencia de pasión y creatividad, así como de valentía y coraje, nadie como tú me animó en mis momentos más duros en el hospital. Sabes que seguirás vivo en nuestra memoria. Un gran abrazo y hasta siempre.

  95. So sad to hear the news. Ezra was such an inspiration with his zest for life and search for creativity in so many ways. The support from Hillary and his family must have been such a loving and strong prop for him. My thoughts are with you.

  96. I never met Ezra in person but the short time I knew him from afar, was an inspiration and a privilege.

  97. Was just thinking about Ezra this afternoon. I come to my computer to check my e-mail, and I find this posting. As expected as it was, one day, it was still jarring, and was sad to see.
    Hillary, I hope you are coping as well as possible, and you will be all right. I will miss Ezra.

  98. Thank you for posting this entry to the blog. It makes a difference to have this kind of completion.

    My condolences to Hillary, to Ezra’s family and to all of us who never met him but were deeply touched and inspired by him.

    Ezra quoted e.e. cummings in the blog. Here is another cummings that fits now:

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows

    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows

    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)

    and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

    i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

  99. RIP Ezra, I am forever grateful that I found your blog, it helped give me strength as I losing my beloved wife to the same disease. My sincerest condolences to his friends and family, the joy you experience when you have an amazing person in your life will inevitably make the loss that much more painful. I hope that you will find strength and stand on the shoulders of each other and his memories and find that joy again.

  100. You will be missed. Although we were literally on the other coast and the chance of meeting was nearly impossible, you without doubt encouraged us and gave us hope through our own struggles. May your family be blessed knowing that we were blessed by you and your openness.

  101. …Not knowing Ezra, only through his brother Thomas and Brad Albetta, I find it nearly impossible to read all about Ezra’s life, although short in years..how much he did with his..Life…..I can honestly say I dwarf in what he did with his….I extend in my caring about His, His wife and all in his Family….A life well lived, but oh the ache of him clings and lingers forever…..Warmest regards, Danny Barrett

  102. Ezra ~ you lived more in your short time on this earth than 10 men that all live to be 100 could even dream of living… I can’t imagine the true number of people you have touched in your time here. God speed, and may you forever rest in peace.

    Hillary ~ you are in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be for a long while. I think of you and Putney Sue often.

    Much love as always, from the mountains of Colorado.

  103. Ezra sent me an email once about cameras, when I was going through a little struggle, and in it he said, “The universe has a quite a sense of humor, huh? Sometimes you just need to beat it at its own game. Embrace the absurd humor of it all.” Words that I saved and often think of.

    For not ever having met Ezra he really impacted my life from afar. I appreciated his humor, the grace with which he walked through the fire. It seems he was able to pack in an insane amount of living in his 41 years, more than most people do in their lifetimes. I can only hope to be 1/100th as awesome.

    I send my good thoughts to you, Hillary, family, and Putney.

  104. Peace and loving memories to Hillary and Ezra’s family and friends. Ezra, hope you bike and photograph and create–without pain–for the rest of eternity.

  105. For really sweaty dance classes, for his kind heart and generosity and for his legendary cooking on Sundays I will always remember and miss Ezra. My heart goes out to family and friends and especially to Hillary and Putney in their sorrow. I am so grateful to have had the chance of meeting all of you in NYC, you made me feel so welcome and at home. I am thinking of you, stay strong and take care of each other and light will shine through the darkness.

  106. Wow. I’ve always thought about Ezra after discovering this site sometime early last year. I’d check in every so often to see how he’s doing, like tonight.
    I was always amazed at how he was handling his fight with the disease that also took the life of my Mother in 2007.
    And even though I knew this was inevitable, it still took the wind out of me as I read the first few words of this post.
    God bless you Ezra and thank you for your great courage. I’ll miss you man but I’m glad you’re free of the pain. My condolences to his family and friends.

  107. What a force of nature. I never met Ezra in person, but I discovered his blog last year after my own early breast cancer diagnosis. My own real-life connection is a dear friend who took some dance classes from him a ways back. His courage to fully live in the face of the unknown was incredibly inspirational. Thank you, Hillary, for the full and beautifully written profile of his life. He has truly touched so many with his Big Love.

  108. My heart goes out to his loving family…know that he lives on in all the souls he touched.

  109. Thanks for showing us how to end with a LIFE WELL LIVED. I’m off to spend the next 15 years finishing my story. Thanks for reminding me not to waste time.

    RIP Ezra

  110. I’m one of the many from the internet who has been following Ezra and his life for years. For me it started with his beautiful wooden fenders on Flickr. His work, his life, his personality, shone brightly in words and pictures on the screen for me and so many others who knew him this way. I wish all the best for you, for Putney, and everyone who knew Ezra.

  111. Ezra, thank you for inspiring us all. In the way you lived your life… I know I’m only beginning to learn about you and the many gifts you gave the world. Now go ride on into the aether. Love and see ya before too long – I hope you’ll have some delicious dinner on – Jeff

  112. I knew of Ezra from Dancespace, but never met him. I watched his classes in awe, inspired by the ease and beauty of his choreography, but also fully aware my knees just wouldn’t go there!
    It was the same ease and beauty that he wrote this blog. Writing of the most awful things a human should have to go through with honesty, humour and grace.
    I didn’t until last week know that Ezra had been sick until he died when I saw friends posting about it, i then went back and read through the posts. This blog has bought me to tears and it feels like I have read the most eloquent, emotional, inspiring book of someone’s journey through cancer.
    To all Ezra’s loved ones, my thoughts are with you – what a loss for the world.

  113. In following Ezra since the earliest days of his blog, when I came in search of bike building info, the image occurred to me of us readers being swept along in the wake of a genuine Renaissance Man as he streamed through life’s ocean. What a privilege.

  114. I’ve been following the blog for years and have never been so influenced by a person that I’ve never met. My riding/cooking/photography won’t ever be the same again, and I can’t be more thankful for that. He didn’t live as long as some, but certainly lived more than most. It’s been such an honour to know him, if only on the internet.

  115. I think is it was four or five years ago I discovered this website. A young man, treated unfairly with failing health. I was impressed by his openness, his humor, his beautiful photographs and his battle to shake of this terrible disease.
    In the end he lost, as I feared he would. When news came his cancer was incurable, I wasn’t myself that day.
    And when his postings came with long pauses I understood we were nearing the end.
    I have much respect for how Ezra wrote about humiliating circumstances and setbacks.
    Now he is no more.

    Condolences to his wife and the rest of his family and his friends.

    It’s so unfair this disease killed him like it did so many others.
    But then again… unfair… fair… they are only human inventions. They play no part in nature and life.
    I think I will remember Ezra for quite a long time…

  116. Thank you so much for the update, and thanks to Ezra for being so brave and sharing your story with us all. You will be missed, even by those of us who only knew you through the stories you shared here.

  117. I am so grateful a single, random picture of Putney on Flickr drew me here so many years ago. It was a honour to be allowed to witness Ezra’s life and death, and be taught how not to waste a moment of it and to embrace it all.

  118. It’s hard to weep for someone who had such joy in living and inspired others to seek out their art and live it. I keep smiling at remembering all his wonderful blog comments amd seeing his wonderful photos, and witnessing his great love of life, art, family and friends.

    When I dealt with cancer, I felt a calm from reading Ezra. When times were tough, I just asked myself WWED–What Would Ezra Do.

    Ezra had so much love to give, he shared it with the world, and we are all better for it. You just know he’s building the perfect bike in a perfect peace.

    God Bless all who love him and still do.

  119. Much love and fortitude sent to Ezra’s family and dear friends. I can only echo the myriad sentiments already expressed here but feel it worth saying again that what Ezra shared with the world mattered deeply. I can only imagine how big his impact if you knew and loved him intimately! In this time of passing and grief, gratitude and loss, I wish for you all buckets of grace and agility of spirit. To Ezra I say only thank you, and much love.

  120. Ezra, your story of living while dying has inspired me to live. You’ll never know the impact you have had by sharing it. Ezra’s family, dear friends, Putney and Hillary, I am so sorry for your heartbreak.

  121. He was such a wonderful and inspiring person I wish I could have met him in person, but to have known him virtually was very special. His open and honest and brutally detailed accounts of what he was going through were so amazing that sometimes I thought he would be around forever! He seemed to be able to forge on through no matter what the universe threw at him.
    Miss you Ezra, I hope this website stays up forever so we can all come back from time to time and experience again the thrill of your words, pictures and videos! Thinking of you Hillary and Putney and the sorrow you must be feeling for your wonderful man! Much love to you, be strong and carry on.

  122. I went to Buxton with Ezra. He was one of the only people that I could juggle with. He was always so happy and full of energy. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  123. Ezra makes the world a more beautiful place still. So sorry for your loss and so thankful for your sharing and grace. Much love from the left coast.

  124. Such sad news, my condolences to Hillary and Ezra’s family and close friends.
    ‘Big Love’ says it all really and we should all aspire to Ezra’s philosophy in our own lives…

  125. Sadness that he is gone yet joyful that his long hard struggle is over. Big Love, peace, and condolences to you all!

  126. Ezra, you were just a few minutes away (on the express train, that is) and I never got to meet you. I am so sorry I didn’t. I followed you from the very start and although I knew the end was inevitable and it was near, I am still shocked that it actually happened. Your energy, your honesty and your creativity made it seem like you could conquer it all. But if life is about leaving the world better than you found it, your life was a colossal success. Thank you for all the beauty you created and the amazing love so palpable in everything you did.

    Hillary, I am so sorry. The last pictures of you in the ambulance were hard to look at. If this has been difficult for us, the strangers on the web, I cannot even imagine what it must be like for you and your family. I hope you are are surrounded by the love and the comfort you need now. We are all thinking of you.

  127. Dear Hillary, I’m so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Ezra. My heart goes out to you, all of the family and friends. Thank you for this update, it is so beautifully written and much appreciated. Like many of us, I never had the chance to meet Ezra but I felt like he was my friend for real. Found him through mutual bike folks and been following along here. He helped me in many ways dealing with cancer. He wrote with such spirit and humor, told it like it was.. through all the pain and suffering, giving of himself with a genuine honestly. I look at his “lonely untitled photo”, remembering some of his words.. “took it on impulse, white on white, found it quite moving, maybe you’ll see it too, maybe not.” Oh I do see it Ezra, and I treasure it. Keep living large as you always did. You taught us so much about life. We are forever grateful you shared your journey. You are missed. Much Love, Robin ♥

  128. my deepest heartfelt condolences to ezra’s family. i can only hope to approach the end of my days with such dignity, humor, creativity and honesty. hillary, of all the photos ezra shared with us my favorites were always the ones of you. ezra had a very unique of way of expressing his love for you every time he looked through his lens. through his art and words i have found i see my own world at little differently now. as difficult as it must have been we thank you for allowing us to witness the journey you both have traveled. peace.

  129. Dear Ezra, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your life and personality with us all, for making beautiful things, and reminding us of the important things in life. To Hillary, your family and friends, our thoughts are with you. We’ll remember Ezra’s spirit, humor and energy always.

  130. Dear Ezra, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your life and personality with us all, for making beautiful things, and reminding us of the important things in life. To Hillary, your family and friends, our thoughts are with you. We’ll remember Ezra’s spirit, humor and energy always. Big love.

  131. Oh God, so he finally passed away! My condolences go to his dear beloved wife and all family and friends. I can imagine how hard it is to see a beloved man die and stay controlled in a way to not make it even harder for the one who is passing away. I hope that he died without too much pain. He was such a courageous man and lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful people. Good bye Ezra, I loved your blog and your wonderful fotos, rest in peace.

    Hamburg / Germany

  132. Both of you have honored the Lord in the highest of ways…
    be Blessed in the days ahead: remembering that when things
    look down…look up!

  133. Big, big, big love.
    As many have said, Ezra has completely impacted my life–has been a complete inspiration–though I never met him. He will be remembered in the highest light always. Thinking of Hilary and those closest to him…sending my deepest condolences.

  134. i will miss this beautiful man that i never met. his description of dancing with a dark stranger when deciding not to pursue treatment still haunts me. so profound. so true. so real. good bye, my friend.

  135. I am so grateful I had a chance to enjoy Ezra’s beautiful photography and writing. His optimism and strength through his illness was an inspiration.
    Much strength to his family and friends.

  136. What a tremendous journey.

    We grew close to a man many of us had never met. We lived his experience through his words, pictures, and created objects.

    Snippets of his cancer journey will live on in my memory and will shape the way I work with people who receive this diagnosis.

    You’ll never be forgotten, Ezra. Big love always from the West Coast.

  137. I am deeply saddened to hear of Ezra’s passing. He was such an inspiration. Hilary, I wish you all the best.

  138. Hillary, like so many others touched by Ezra’s inspired life, I was deeply saddened to hear of his death and your loss. My wife and I extend our sympathy to you and your family and wish you the very best in your life. I am very grateful you allowed us into your life and will always remember Ezra, you and Putney as the essence of what is important and joyous about life.

  139. I guess I am just one of the many who never got to actually meet Ezra, but somehow came to care about him for his beautiful photographies on Flickr, and then, later, for his strong-willed fight against cancer, as chronicled on his brave and smart posts on this blog, always so full of life against all odds.

    I don’t need to tell any body here that he was like that: there was something about him that made you like him, made you care.

    I only wish words were of any use, here.

    To all of you who were his loved ones, his family, my deepest condolences.

    He’ll be sorely missed.

  140. I don’t really follow blogs, I only met Ezra once while he was teaching at DSC, and, thankfully, I don’t have cancer. But I have been reading his words and admiring his photography for years now, inspired by his attitude and passion for life. Thank you Ezra, for sharing your joys and sorrows, your victories and defeats, and mostly, your courage. Your stories and posts have made me laugh, cry, and think. And I always wished I could have afforded one of your amazing bikes. Hillary and Putney, my heart goes out to you both.

  141. I have followed Ezra for years. I first found him through his photography on Flickr, where he inspired me. Then I came across his blog, and he inspired me still more. His cooking inspired me, his wife inspired me, his dog inspired me.

    I never met Ezra in person, but I lament his passing with a heavy heart.

    You will not be forgotten. Thank you. Goodbye.

  142. Dear Ezra, thank you for sharing your life’s ups and downs with such a wonderful attitude. You are too big for this life. Ride In Paradise my friend.

  143. i hope ezra knew how many people he touched with his life, his attitude, his humor. i was one of them. love to you all.

  144. Allez Fast Boy allez! My love and condolences to you Hill, Putney, and the Caldwell family. Such a loss but on his own terms and that is perhaps the best any of us can ultimately get. Take care, love. Yme

  145. Ezra, your story touched me deeply. I will remember it and tell it for as long as I have breath. Deep thanks to you for sharing your life. Deep sympathies to your family and loved ones. Take care where ever you go.

  146. My condolences to Hillary, Putney, never met Ezra but one of the bravest kindest person to touch my life .

  147. To Hillary, Putney, and all of Ezra’s family I send heartfelt condolences. Ezra always seemed to have a larger than life presence to me. He was always so welcoming and kind. I am grateful for the memories of the time I was able to spend with all of you. Sending lots of hugs and love!!!

  148. RIP Ezra! I never really met you formally, but ran into you quite a lot at the Dance Space. After reading the blog, I learned that your birthday is the day after my daughter’s birthday. Big hug to you, Hillary.

  149. Yet another stranger who found this blog a while back and wanted to express my deepest sympathies to Hillary and the rest of the family at Ezra’s passing. Ezra, you fought the good fight, inspired and encouraged many. I wish you peace as you journey onward free of this monster we call cancer. May his memory sustain you now and always…

  150. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to Hillary and Ezra’s family. I followed Ezra’s postings and musings from Bogotá, Colombia for well over a year and it was always a pleasure to discover a new entry, in any of his many passionate endeavors. I will miss you greatly Ezra, but you will remain alive in my heart and my thoughts.

  151. As Clarence Oddbody said in It’s a Wonderful Life,
    “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
    Thank you, Ezra, for touching “so many other lives”.
    We will miss your unique commentary on life.
    We will miss your photographic perspective.
    We will miss your creative spirit.
    My condolences to Hillary and family. May that “awful hole” be soon healed.

  152. Ezra, you’re not gone…you’ve left a mark
    that won’t be leaving for MANY MANY years!
    You are, and always will be a remarkable
    Individual. I have much love for you and hope
    we can meet a few years down the road.

  153. Ezra, your creativity, be it in your bikes, pill flasks, cooking or photography never ceased to amaze me. I am participating in the Ride to Conquer Cancer this year as a memorial tribute to my late sister-in law, but you will be front of mind as well.
    Deepest sympathies to Hillary, Putney, family and friends. RIP.

  154. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ezra but I have followed his blog for several years. It was funny how I found myself silently rooting for him through out my day as if I knew him- probably because he felt like an old friend. I was always excited to see that he had posted something…blog entry, videos, photographs…
    I’m so very sorry for your loss Hillary and family.
    From your friend on the west coast of Canada.

  155. I never had the pleasure of meeting Ezra in person, but like so many of my best friends here in D.C., I came to know him several years ago by discovering his photography on Flickr. I was always supremely fascinated by his passion for photography, cooking, and bicycles – the very three things that I hold dear in my own life.

    Ezra and I exchanged a number of emails over the years about food and bicycles. Most times I would be overcome by my curiosity and email Ezra a question, to which he would respond with words that gave me immediate and definitive closure on what kind of person he really was, all without not having ever sat in the same room as the man.

    I feel like I knew Daniel Ezra Caldwell on a very personal level. I feel like I am one of many. He used the internet to share the light in his life with such spunk that it was impossible to turn away, to tune out.

    Last night I came home from work completely exhausted. I looked out the window and the dark storm clouds stared back at me as if to say, “you’re lucky you made it to shelter.” It was then that I thought of Ezra. Despite my fatigue and despite the flash flood warnings from my phone, I wore my kit, grabbed my bike, and I rode in his honor. I was defiant of the threatening storm, and many miles in, against all the predictions of the weather reports, the clouds broke and the sun took one last look over the western horizon before dipping out of sight.

    Sometimes you have to fight to enjoy life. Thank you for teaching me that, Ezra. Cancer tried to suck the joy out of you and it lost miserably. You are very much alive in all of us.

  156. Ezra, your light in the world will be missed and remembered. My love and hugs to Hillary and your many family and friends. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

  157. This news has truly sent the earth off it’s axis a little bit. I know Ezra from his dancing days when I was a student of his. The first word that comes to my mind to describe him is INVINCIBLE. In the physical sense he was one of the strongest people I knew, and I see now that strength was matched in the spiritual. So sorry to everyone for this unfathomable loss, and so amazed by the depth of his influence on so many. That spirit lives. Ride on Ezra. You are loved and missed.

  158. I am so sorry for the loss of someone who really did live life to the fullest. Although I only knew Ezra through his blog, his passionate pursuit of life will continue to inspire me. My sympathies to Hillary and the rest of his family.

  159. My most heartfelt condolences to Hill, Putney Sue, family and friends. I stumbled upon Ezra’s Flickr account several years ago. I would spend hours upon hours pouring over his photos, studying them, admiring them, trying to figure out what it was about them that spoke to me so deeply. One day I realized what made Ezra’s photos so special was their honesty and Ezra’s obvious love for and appreciation for his life that came through in everything he did. Even after his cancer diagnosis, Ezra seemed humbled and genuinely awed just by getting to live his life.
    I had the great pleasure of speaking to him once. His ability to reinvent his professional life intrigued me, so I sent him a message through Flickr with a couple of questions about the art and craft of bike building. I didn’t expect much more than general answers. What I got was a phone number and a message saying, “Call me”.
    He was tired, and he had an appointement, but he took the time to answer every question I threw at him, and even answer questions I hadn’t thought of. We talked for an hour and a half that day. Even now I think back on that and smile because he was such a caring and giving person that he took time out of his busy schedule to help a stranger. It truly fills my heart.
    Ezra, I always wanted to tell you this, to tell you how much it meant to me that you would take time to talk with me when you really had no reason to. It still means the world to me. I hope someday I can tell you this in person and give you a big hug. Until then, fare thee well, brother.

  160. I am so deeply saddened to learn about Ezra’s illness and death. I feel terrible that I did not know that he lived so near to me, and that he was fighting his illness for so many years while also biking, cooking, writing, creating, and loving the good things in life. I really wish I could have offered some support, and shared my wonder at his spirit and my admiration for him during his struggle. I also wish I could have eaten a meal he cooked!

    Here are a few memories of Ezra from our teenage years at Buxton. He was someone who stood out, and was often a bit baffled and frustrated by normal teenage antics, and by the pace (too slow) of life in general.

    At Buxton, all the students have chores and some require more independence and responsibility than other. Ezra signed on to be a morning fire stoker. The fire stoker had to wake up early (in the winter it would be dark) go into the cold classrooms and build fires in the wood stoves. He loved this. By the time the rest of us got to class the rooms would be nice and toasty. I don’t think I ever adequately appreciated the fire stokers. Thank you, Ezra and all other under-appreciated fire stokers for keeping us all warm.

    Ezra stood on his head and liked to walk on his hands.

    He composed music and played the flute. We played a lot of flute duets together. We both loved flute duets.

    Once he followed a plan to reduce the amount of time spent sleeping. He got it from a book on Salvador Dali. In any case, he decided to stay awake for three hours at a time and then sleep for 15 minutes then stay awake for another three hours and so on. This way the whole night is not wasted in sleep, was his theory. He held on for about three days I think. Impressive.

    Once on an all school hike he decided to run the mountain, rather than hike it. And he did. But at the top some of us met him running back up (he had already reached the top and was in the middle of his descent when he decided to turn back). How was the run? We asked him. Lonely, he said, I think I missed the point. And then he joined us as we sprawled in the grass and stared out at the view.

    He liked to take pictures.

    He gave compliments.

    One year he was my secret Santa and for the final gift he gave me a map which I followed into the snowy woods. There was a tree, standing a bit apart from other trees, decorated with ornaments. I guess he must have made the ornaments. It was so beautiful, and surprising, and fun, and creative. There has never been a better secret Santa gift in the history if secret Santa gifts. I’m sure of that.

    He learned things quickly, and was always interested in new things. He was attuned to details.

    He knew what he liked.

    He was loyal to his friends.

    He learned how to make tattoos using a sewing needle and India ink and convinced me to let him give me a tattoo. I don’t think it took much convincing, but I know when I woke up that day I was not thinking to myself: I really want to get a tattoo. He was persuasive. He tattooed a star on my ankle while I read aloud. He also told me what to read. Edgar Allen Poe, ‘A Telltale Heart’. He had good taste.

    I’m heartened by the very full life he shared with so many interesting and caring people. I’m so happy to see pictures of his wife, and friends, and dog, and meals. I knew him a long time ago, but I can see from his writings and his photos that his passion for life deepened and he lived the time he had fully and beautifully. To Hillary and family, I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    I’m glad you were in my life, Ezra. I’m so sorry that you had to suffer so much. Thank you for sharing your truth and experience with us through your blog. I read every post and I am so grateful for each one.

    p.s. Are there any other Ezra tattoos out there?

  161. I keep coming back, thinking Ezra will post again. I continue to be moved by the comments of others. Others whose lives Ezra touched on a soul level. sending love your way…. Shannon

  162. This is the guy you fell in love with isn’t it? He looks so young here, so innocent.

    I’m sure it wasn’t always like this. I think he was headstrong, determined to do exactly what he wanted to do. He had a mission, or several. There are many people who need to accomplish much before they die. They need to prove themselves to themselves and to their loved ones. It seems like Ezra loved to experiment, to produce, to make everything he could imagine. I love that in him. I bet you, Hill, loved that in him too. Other things would have been more problematic but you must have taken that in stride.

    There is part of me that loves Ezra, I’ve read everything I have found about him. He is nothing short of amazing. That is the word that we all seem to use for him. It must be kind of annoying for you by now.

    Hill, I wish you the best, you’ve had a really long journey. Be well.

  163. This is a beautiful and subtle celebration of ezra’s ridiculously multi-talented self. Not many people in the world can do all the things he did, and retain a sense of humour (and write brilliantly) at the same time as undergoing such pain and inconvenience and sorrow and unjust suffering. thank you for the links to donate. i never got to meet ezra but am just one of the people who was linked to a post here a few years ago, was sucked in, and never stopped reading. I learnt so much through this blog, not only about beautiful bikes and the inner and outer effects and conditions of cancer, but also about just how awesome someone like ezra can be; just how many lives someone like him was able to enlighten and affect and inspire and improve. Ezra is an inspiration to me and, i’m sure, to every single person who read his posts, not to mention the real people in his life.
    I send my special love to every member of his beautiful family.

  164. I never got to meet this amazing person but I felt like I’ve known him forever. I randomly found this blog through clicking on a picture of his Assless bike and I was hooked from then. I’ve followed him through everything that he went through and felt that I really got to know his big beautiful heart. I want to share this video of him because even though he was going through all that cancer crap and feeling like he had no energy at all, he could still do this. This video makes me smile and cry at the same time because it shows he always had hope throughout all of this. I hope you enjoy. Big love. <3

  165. My deepest sympathy to all of those who were close to Ezra. I only knew him through his blog that I stumbled upon awhile ago. I always enjoyed reading his postings and seeing his amazing photography. He seemed quite a remarkable soul and obviously left powerful impact and influence with everyone. Rest in Peace Ezra.

  166. I’ve never been so heartbroken over the passing of someone I haven’t met. He was a light and an inspiration in an otherwise pessimistic and myopic world. My condolences to Hillary and Ezra’s family!

  167. ..Thanks so much for this wonderful video of Ezra and his dog…It was a..’TAKE’..I’m not sure Ezra, answered the question..”Why was I born, why I’m I living” What I saw and understand now is….He chosed to ‘Live’ in the face of death….with a Will, that none can define….That alone,his will, I’d say is Living in both the Life of Death…..This I believe is the greatest of all ‘feats’ Thank you for your life, Ezra ….Danny Barrett

  168. I’ve been following Ezra and his cooking and photography posts for many years now. I even bought a print from him that he took on his iPhone. Even that photo was amazing. Ezra died on the same day that my dad died and was born, May 24th. Today I decided I would go see how he was doing and saw this sweet photo of him and my heart sank. I feel like I know him. I would always look at his photos and wish I could shoot like him.He aslo taught me how to braise leg of lamb!

    Farewell, friend I’ve never met!

  169. …and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest
    Ezra brightened the world. I am grateful for his life…and his journey that taught us all so much… The Palliative Care Unit staff at The Mount Sinai Hospital

  170. I found Ezra and his beautiful soul at one of the lowest points of my life and his words helped expose a path forward, out of grief, out of anger. I am forever grateful for that. Thank you for teaching me to dance again Ezra and enjoy the dance of love onward in your new form in every one of our hearts.

  171. Hillary, I am so sorry for your incredible loss. I lost my husband to cancer too and I have been thinking of you especially. It is such a hard and beautiful journey and I know you would not trade the time you had with ezra for anything on this earth. I am praying for you in your enormous loss that you will find comfort in love that does not die. Someone said to me after my husband died, watch for the signs. I didn’t take it seriously. I do now. Watch for the signs, hillary. I hope you will let us know how you are
    doing. We care. We all do. Ezra will always be loved and remembered.

  172. Sincere condolences to Ezra’s family and those who were close to him. I only ‘knew’ him virtually through the bicycle frame building world, and his amazing blog.

    Thank you, Ezra, for teaching me about making one’s own choices in every aspect of life, even throughout your incredibly difficult ordeal.

    Your writing, photography and perspective on life are all of enormous value to those you touched. I think of you every time I cook, often throwing together great dinners with whatever meat and vegetables I can find, thinking “How would Ezra cook this?” and being inspired by your creativity and confidence.

    Your photo—the one with you on your bike, riding on the rack, hands-free, bombing down the blurred street—hangs by the door to my shop. It’s an important reminder to enjoy the ride. Thank you very much for that, and for sharing your life with a lot of us who never met you, but were still better for knowing you.

  173. I met Ezra many years ago in my home town, Glenwood Springs, CO at the GS Dance Festival. Ezra became my friend, such a kind spirit, and I so enjoyed rock climbing, cooking (& eating), dancing & truly living life with him. I am happy he lived so radiantly & clearly touched so many lives. To Hillary, Ezra’s family & friends, my deepest sympathies. My heart & thoughts are with you. To Ezra, thanks for sharing your beautiful soul with the world. Godspeed.

  174. with deep sadness and profound condolences to ezra’s family, i stumbled on ezra’s blog via another friend’s blog, and have been following since. as readers, we knew the day was coming when we would no longer be entertained by ezra. but personally, i clung to a fantasy that i’d get bored reading ezra’s writing before his body succumbed to cancer. i feel lucky to have been the outsider, looking in. thank you. hillary, big virtual hug to you, for what it’s worth, you are the one that i am thinking about most.

  175. So, so sad to learn the Ezra has passed away after his inspirational battle with cancer. This guys was a true artist and I was continually inspired by his photography, his cooking and his bikes. God speed.

  176. My deepest sympathies to Hillary and the family/friends of Ezra. I am a total stranger but somehow I stumbled upon Ezra’s blog and every time I read a post I gave thanks for the spirit of generosity & creativity that Ezra transmitted across the Interwebs. I’m sending a prayer/good vibe, whatever you want to call it for you.

  177. I stumbled into Ez’s posts on Flickr maybe 10 years ago and just followed along on Flickr. That was before Flickr was a really big thing, definitely before it had faded from being a really big thing. And then pictures of bikes started appearing. Funny ones, lovely ones, each assembled with a person in mind. How lovely! Funny though, that I like pictures and I like bikes and now the two were merged. And this sweet dog and a sweet girl and a lovely apartment — how is it that I feel a part of this family and not like some creepy voyeur? And then fenders! Wooden ones! Oh, wow. And then a blog and then frames – frames! And then … cancer. And so it goes. Wow … 10 years?

    How does a man touch so many with such a gentle way? My heart goes out to you, Hill, though you must barely know us, somehow connected from from a time when the internet still had a novel kind of gentle intimacy to it. And to Putney.

    Much love to you and all those who knew and somehow loved Ezra.

    Godspeed indeed.

  178. Like many others, I stumbled across Ezra’s blog a few years ago, got sucked in, and read the whole blog to acquaint myself with the entire story. His willingness to be so open about some of the most challenging parts of life was phenomenal to me – I was truly astounded and could not stop reading his story. He was a fantastic artist in many mediums, loved deeply, and really lived life every day. I admire him, respect him, am in awe of the strength he demonstrated, and am sad that I never had the chance to meet him face-to-face. After reading his blog for so long with the voice I imagined him having, it was shocking to hear his voice on the short movie made about him and realize how wrong I had had it in my mind.

    Thank you Ezra for teaching me so much.

    Thank you Hillary for sharing Ezra and the story of you two with us.


  179. Ezra, your photography and energy have inspired me so many times over the years. Thank you.
    Kavi (London)

  180. I listened to the Once Soundtrack (which I’ve loved for so many years) and thought about how Glen and everyone must be missing you so much. I know I do…

  181. I first came for the bikes, stayed for the pictures, silently following the struggle.

    So long, Ezra.

    My condolences to Hillary, Putney and family.

    Hugs from Paris, France.

  182. I, too, stumbled on this wonderful website when my 40 year old son was diagnosed with colon cancer in January of 2012. I learned so much from Ezra and so enjoyed his posts, his way with words, his beautiful human spirit. My son died in June of 2013 but I continued to follow Ezra, always hoping for a miracle for him, hoping maybe somehow, someway he would beat this terrible disease. I am so sorry it did not happen, I know the pain of this tragic loss and I pray for all his family and friends. I will miss Ezra – I feel so fortunate to have found his wonderful blog.

  183. RIP Ezra. Way too young but yet a full life until the end. My condolences to Hillary, Putney and family. Robert (Australia).

  184. i am from the UK and fell upon Ezra’s blog by chance when looking for something else on the web. I read all his words with tears flowing down my face. He was funny and wrote beautifully making me laugh and cry. What he went through was truly inspiring. How I loved reading about him, about Hillary and your beloved dog Putney. I have changed and am changing my attitude to life since reading his blogs. Ezra’s words are so worthy of a book. What an amazingly clever and eloquent man. My thoughts are with you Hillary, little Putney and all your families.

    Gilly C (United Kingdom).

  185. Thank you Ezra, for kind words and for deep insight into the life and the world immediately around you. Thank you Hill for the beauty you and Putney brought into the world for Ezra to capture and share. His story has been a courageous and inspiring one to follow.

  186. I’m missing his wonderful posts. How did he always, well almost always, sound so upbeat? He never lost his ability to speak clearly, never lost his ability to engage us, never lost the ability to live largely. I’m sorry but I have to bring back that word, amazing, he was that. I’m missing him, Hill, as I know you are. Putney must also be mourning, I believe Ezra died at home so Putney would have been able to be by his side and know as life leaked out of him.

    Golly, I hope you’re getting on. My husband died almost 4 years ago. It really does get better as time goes on. Triggers……… golly they happen but less and less. I’m sure yours are frequent now and they will be for the next 2-3 years but it lessens.

    Be well and rest. Let others help you, they want to do something, anything because they miss/love him too. Say yes.

  187. you were an inspiration… take care now!

    I am not good with words but I just felt I needed to say goodbye to you… we will meet somewhere else.

  188. Looked through your photos today Ez….been going through some tough times and I’m missing your wisdom…strange how we can miss someone we’ve never met…i think of you, and your lovely wife and pup, often. i hope they are well, surviving in your absence, moving forward, somehow….i don’t know the words for it, but i sincerely miss you and needed to look at your photos today. just because. life is so unfair sometimes, but it’s also beautiful. you reminded me of that. your photos will go up in my new home…they remind me of you and your beautiful spirit. thank you.

  189. Hillary –
    I briefly met you when I brought Ezra’s red knit cap I made for him years ago when the thought of chemo had just entered the picture. This news has gripped many, I’m sure, but just wanted to say I hope you’re doing ok, and thanks for being there for him.

    All best,

  190. good thoughts. i was passin’ through putney, vt. the other day and thought of ya’ll.
    out. that’s all. good thoughts.

  191. I just read Ezra’s obituary again, for the 5th time. Still in awe of the life he lived. Still heartbroken and angry that he is no longer here. I know he is somewhere and I’m sure he is amazing, wherever that is. What a gift he gave to all of us. What an impact he had on so many. I miss him in this life. I pray he knows how many he touched. Big love, Ezra.

    Sad Girl Out

  192. I discovered Ezra’s blog last year when I was searching for joy amidst the sorrow of and impending loss of our own that we all knew was coming…it was a comfort and an inspiration and I was rooting for him. Still am, wherever he is…what a marvel. I’ll probably run into him on a bike trail someplace or the next time I’m dancing my heart out. Much love and heal well, Hillary and family.

  193. Dear Ezra – I will miss your smiling face! I only now have learned of your passing after moving out if the Manhattan Avenue hood to 145th Street. I was deeply saddened by the news! Your fight was so courageous – I applaud your valour! Hillary and Thomas I offer you my sincerest condolences! Ezra was such a shining light in the world and he touched so many! I was pleased to turn over the stewardship of 543 and 545 Manhattan Avenue to Ezra and Thomas after having rescued those fine buildings from abandonment and neglect. Ezra took good care of them and helped bring them forward ! May his memory and his light live on and on! Big Kisses to all! For love of Ezra!! Eric Sawyer

  194. Hi Ezra’s family:

    Was rearranging prints and paintings in my home and came across the cardboard sleeve my print from Ezra arrived in, adorned with a bike and hearts and clearly crafted with love. Your boy Putney, ears flapping, will be on my wall for a long, long time and I will remember Ezra, the way he touched so many, his obvious love for his wife, his skill in living well. Sending you all big love from afar, and gratitude for sharing your Ezra with us.

  195. Thank you to whoever brought Ezra to the Temple at Burning Man. Seeing him there broke me wide open.

    In May of 2013 I was diagnosed with a low level advanced rectal tumor and Ezra was kind enough to kick my “woe is me” ass back when I was overly focused on the tragedy of my illness instead of actively celebrating a life well lived.

    Your tribute to Ezra at the Temple of Grace was a beautiful reminder that the true spirit of our loved ones lives on through the generosity of others.

    Your love of Ezra eases my fear of death.

  196. very, very sad to know. r.i.p. Ezra. you were…you are a great inspiration. loved your fotography your bikes your humor and courage. Thanks.

  197. I am very sorry to hear the tragic news. I have known Ezra through Flickr for a long time and I was a big fan of his photographs. His passion for the things he loved in life was immense. A true artist and a great person. My condolences to his family and friends. Nikos

  198. So sad to hear Ezra passed but what a life he lived! I checked up on his blog ever since I found some stunning photos many years ago of his bikes, but stuck around because of his honest and personal blogs. I never met Ezra but it feels like loosing a friend…

  199. Thinking about you today, Ezra. It makes me so sad to see that your website with all your pictures is gone. It actually made me cry. I loved looking at all of your amazing photos. I guess I should count myself lucky that I have two of them hanging in my house. I also find myself thinking of Hill and sweet Putney and wondering how they are as well. I have to admit, it was hard checking your blog every day and reading all the updates and how you and your family were doing – just to suddenly have that gone. You all felt like family. I hope Hill and everyone else are doing ok and feeling your spirit in special moments.

  200. I discovered Ezra, Putney and even you Hillary, trying to keep water off my back. What a beautiful life he lived. Let’s celebrate life as he did, all the way to the end. So sorry for your loss.

  201. Ezra meant a lot to me. He still does. We didn’t “know” each other, but he is an influence in my life that will not fade. What a life he shared! My deepest condolences to Hill, his family and his friends. Ezra, when I think about you, I feel you in a little piece of my heart on the upper right side.

  202. I’m incredibly sad to read that Ezra finally lost his battle. I discovered him on Flickr in the mid 2000s, and loved his images of Hill and Putney on the bed. Then I realised he was ill and started following his blog. I’m not sure why I missed this last year’s worth of blog posts, but it really has saddened me to see this. What a loss, and what an amazing guy he seemed to be. I hope you are coping, Hill. It must be incredibly hard for you. Kirsten from London x

  203. I never met Ezra, but followed his story. I still reference the renaissance man on occasion when speaking of those people who walk and never touch the ground. The ones i wish i were half as talented and driven as.
    Hope you are well.

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