Friday, April 17, 2009

Rush to the Great Beyond Friday

If you think the title is confusing, I'll explain. It was my intent to do so, anyway. It's a blog.

I've mentioned before I hang out on a message board for Rush fans. Over the last five years, it's become more than an Internet site for me - it's a community of people united by the love of music, and in time I've come to consider a number of the board's members my friends. I've met several in person - stayed in the their homes, wandered around Vegas at four in the morning, and celebrated good times and great music.

One of the members I had the opportunity to meet passed away over Easter weekend. As he was an infrequent board poster of late, we are just now hearing about it. What is sad about this situation, aside from the fact that this man passed, is that he was a week or so shy of his 60th birthday. He had planning a mega-celebration of life with friends and family when he was felled, we hear, by a heart attack.

60 is not old. I'm more than halfway there, and looking at this person - this Internet friend - you wouldn't have thought him old. Of course, death doesn't discriminate, it comes when it's time. Nobody was prepared for this, however.

Everybody called him Grizz, a shortened version of his last name. Guess you could say he was a hippie - rarely did I see a picture where he wasn't wearing something tie-dyed...or else a Rush shirt. He often displayed a youthful smile and twinkling eyes - you could tell he was always thinking about something. And he loved that band. The memory I'll always hold of him has him on the dance floor of this tiny venue at RushCon 2112, dancing in circles with his arms held high while the trib band played the 2112 overture. He almost resembled that one relative at your wedding who took strong advantage of the free bar, the one the videotape captured most often. Yet Grizz seemed more drunk on the music than anything else.

He and I didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things, especially religion. I have to admit one post he'd made, inferring me as a whiner and questioning my intelligence because I "believe", caused me to block his posts for several months. Without going into detail, he ended up taking a sabbatical from the board, and he subsequently apologized for his remarks. Me, being a hard-head Sicilian, never officially accepted. Now my chance is gone, and I will indeed regret that. Grizz was once emphatic about his atheism - later events implied a change of heart, but I'm not really sure.

Grizz, if you can hear me now, we're cool.

1 comment:

krispykremekiller said...

It was a shock to hear about Grizz today. I really didn't think we'd actually have to deal with someone dying in our online community now. Its a very nice tribute you wrote, to him, and this community we share in common. A community that everyday I am grateful for bringing you and I together as friends. Had the world remained a larger place than it now is, I might never have found you. It isn't about a bunch of geeks fighting over Rush, or Star Trek, or Religion. Sure it is, sometimes. :). It is all about making friends, on a much larger scale and meeting through a an passion they all share. Anyway, thank you CP, for my best friend, and for the heavens to take care of our friend Grizz.