category: RIP


RIP, Tony D.

Remembering Bosco

It’s been ten years since Bosco passed away. I still think about you all the time, my man.

RIP: Lucky Dube

Lucky Dube was shot and killed by a carjacker in South Africa. A friend of mine just gave him a ride to the airport a month or so ago. Crazy.

Dube was one of the positive singers reggae had ever seen. This is a very sad passing. In memory, here’s a video of a live performance of my favorite Lucky Dube song:

Grandmom, Ryan, and Grandpop, 1979

Ten years ago today, my grandfather passed away. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long.

We miss you, Grandpop.

RIP, Zoe, Ory

Five years ago at the Sunshine Foundation’s 2001 Progeria Reunion, I had a chance to sit down with an eight-year-old girl from Puerto Rico named Zoe while she was doing some artwork. Progeria is an extraordinarily rare aging disease that affects one in every four to eight million children. There are only a few dozen children diagnosed with Progeria in the entire world.

Zoe was an unbelievably sweet little girl. She was shy and understood a little English, but she talked about how she didn’t really like school that much. When I sent a picture to her the following year of her and one of her friends at the reunion, she was happy to get it, but wanted to cut herself out of the shot.

I got the sad news that Zoe passed away two weeks ago at the age of 13. The average child with Progeria only lives to see their early teen years.

Another Progeria child you may have seen on television, Ory, died a week ago of a heart attack during surgery. He was 10.

I don’t really know what else to say, really, but I thought I’d share a few photos from 2001 of Zoe. If you’d like to make a donation to help children like Zoe and Ory, please do so through the Progeria Research Foundation or the Sunshine Foundation.

Zoe and Ryan



RIP, Devon

Got more very surprising and saddening news from Mom last night, Devon Flem, who was also in this photo with Stephanie, passed away on Monday. Devon was 30.

I didn’t know Devon and when that picture was taken may have been the only time I ever met him, but mt deepest condolences go out to Devon’s parents who have got to be reeling from this loss.

Remembering Stephanie

The MacMichaels, Stanfords, and Stefanellis, 1982

I was shocked last week to hear of the passing of Stephanie Stanford, a family friend only a couple of years older than me. It’s been five years since I last saw Stephanie, but I have fond memories of our families getting together for Christmas and summer gatherings when we were younger. She always struck me as a very positive individual, even after she was paralyzed from the waist down at age 8 and even after her parents died in a car accident. The memories I can share involve mainly playing board games and watching TV since the three families only got together periodically, but they’re the types of memories that shape one’s happiest recollections of childhood.

Deepest sympathies go out to her older sister Dawn and younger sister Allison.

And thanks to mom, here’s a Flickr photoset of some of those fun summertime and holiday gatherings.

We’ll Miss You, Grandmom

My grandmother passed away yesterday morning, at age 86. We’ll miss you, Grandmom.

Grandmom at the Wildwood Diner

Grandmom and me, September 1, 2001

Remembering (sort of ) Aunt Georgiana

In the past year or so, I’ve written a lot of “Remembering…” entries about people in my family that have passed away. Chances are, they mean nothing to those of you that I don’t share a bloodline with, but I got word of another passing today of one of my more… interesting… relatives.

Aunt Georgiana passed away last Thursday at 94 years old. She was a distant great aunt that I never really knew. I’m not even clear on exactly where in the family tree she fits. In fact, the only time I ever remember meeting her was at a funeral, one where she thought my dad was his father, who had passed away 20 years earlier. At another funeral, she brought a Polaroid and took pictures of the deceased in their casket. Now there’s a memory you want to capture for posterity. Shake it like a… oh, never mind.

Every family has one… at least one… and Aunt Georgiana was ours. No word yet on whether or not flash photography will be allowed at the services.

Have no fear, the head of Spear is here

‘Twas a nice, productive (but relaxing) weekend… nice when sandwiched between two hectic weeks.

Saturday we spent most of the day lounging around, but headed into DC for a good show at the 9:30 Club, meeting up with Diana and Merrick. Granted, it was pretty expensive at $30 a pop, but for Spearhead and Ziggy Marley, it was worth it. Opening act Beth Hart was good and it’s quite clear that Michael Franti and his crew have really perfected their stage show. Even though it was about an hour shorter than their show at the Funk Box late last year, it was still a nice, tight set. We stayed for most of Ziggy’s set, but headed out a bit early because my legs were absolutely killing me. I’m showing my old age by not being able to stand for four hours straight.

Sunday we got a bunch of things done around the house and even played racquetball for the first time in nearly five months. We played again tonight but some dumb ass turned the lights off in the middle of our game, 10 minutes before closing.

I got word this weekend that my Great Uncle Eugene passed away. I tell you, it’s getting to be too frequent that I’m writing these “Remembering…” entries. I don’t really remember too much about Uncle Eugene, as we didn’t see him very frequently, but as one of my grandmother’s last remaining siblings (she had quite a few, as did all my grandparents), he’ll be missed as part of that side of the family.

Speaking of Grandmom, she’s out of the rehab placement and back at home with mom and dad to continue her rehab there. She’s in great spirits, even though she wasn’t able to remember anytime from Christmas through her second hospital stay. When I spoke to her last, she was looking forward to seeing her Christmas presents for a second time. “I think you’ll like them, Grandmom,” I told her. “You did the first time.”

It’s great to see her feeling better after such a rough two months. She’s got a lot of fight in her, I’ll tell you what…

Thursday: a co-worker appears on The Screen Savers, yet again. I told him he better mention my name this time.

If you watched for Brian Regan on Letterman on February 13th, you probably noticed he was bounced. His appearance has been rescheduled for April 2nd.

Is it Friday yet? Is it Friday, yeti? My, you have big feet.