Monthly Archives: August 2006

Some people call me the space cowboy.

Grieving again over the sudden loss of someone my age, someone who touched my life despite the distance I was always attempting to put between me and my painful adolescent years.

Although I hadn’t spoken to Dan since our high school graduation, I went to school with him from seventh through twelfth grades. Okay, okay, so when I first started seventh grade in the new school, I developed a big ol’ junior high crush on Dan. Sandy blond hair, steel blue eyes, who wouldn’t? But soon enough, I learned to respect him beyond his good looks and a friendship developed. He never flaunted his athleticism, his intellect, or his priviliged background. He had patience to show me how to shoot a bow & arrow in archery and taught me the basic rules of soccer, as well as provided some much-needed hugs throughout high school. I didn’t allow many people to call me “Rach” back then (other than my brother), but Dan was one I did. He always talked of living in Colorado someday because he loved visiting and skiing in this state, but ended up going into the family business and stayed in Wisconsin.

I was hoping to get back into contact with Dan soon just as I had recently with another friend, Tracy, who was a classmate of his all the way from kindergarten to high school graduation. I wonder if he knew that I was now living in Colorado.

Monday morning, the small plane carrying Dan along with two co-workers and a pilot, crashed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

(I can still picture Dan singing along with “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band at our eighth grade graduation party. Hence, the subject line.)


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