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.)

Posted on August 16, 2006, in Memories. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry for your loss. Much sympathy to you.

  2. Oh Rachel, I’m so sorry. My condolences to you and your friends and family.

  3. L & K> thanks for the thoughts. it means a lot.


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