He had a knack for knowing what events were going on, knowing who the audience was going to be, and knowing how to dress and connect with the folks there.
His smile almost always had a feeling of "you're going to like what I have to say and if we work together on this - and the outcome will be good". That's a lot to put into a smile but that's the kind of guy he was.
The first year Dolores Huerta rode in the Latino Heritage parade he met her at our house. They knew each other - she called him "Little Stevie Wonder" - and I'm sure he met her with that smile. And because of the smile she came ready to have a good time and to spend time with gente, with people of the community.
He was always as willing to connect with those of some celebrity as he was willing to push up his sleeves put on a bandanna and do the grunt work. He didn't need to be recognized for any of this. He did this despite injuries that plagued his body. The heart was willing and so the work got done. If he had some money and you had none he shared; if he was the one that was short of cash, he accepted help with grace. And always there was that very special smile.
The last time I saw Steve was at the Levitt Pavilion. He was dancing up a storm - hat on head, eyes closed, happy smile.
Steve left us this week. Some knew him as a plumber, some as an activist, and some as an actor. All knew him as a man who cared about others, loved deeply, and who made our lives fuller for having spent time with him. He will be missed and remembered by many; hopefully mostly with a smile on our faces.
This image is by the artist Margaret Garcia.