My father text me Monday. “Sorry to tell you this, but Gary R. passed away over the weekend.” I stood and looked at my phone. I hadn’t seen him since after high school. Gary had gone on and done his thing and I had done mine. We had spent a great deal of time together in middle and high school. His family had a farm nearby and Gary had a few older brothers. They had cool cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles, everything. I would hang out with Gary and get to ride around with him and his brothers. His brother Donnie, turned me onto Judas Priest, Motorhead and the Scorpions. He also gave me my first beer. The brothers looked after me and kept me safe.
One day, I was trying to build my first half-pipe and Gary gave me one hundred dollars to get plywood. Gary didn’t even skate. Seeing that he passed away, made me think about my own mortality. He was my age. Life on life’s terms. I think of him now… but I probably should have reached out a long time ago. I just didn’t. Bumming… Don’t hesitate to tell people what they mean to you. Someday, it may be too late. Ozzie