The year was 1999. My obsession with the disco biscuits was hitting full
steam. In the spring, after using the internet for school and work for
years and years, for the first time i found a community of friends online
through the Disco Biscuits email discussion list, called Discuss
Biscuits. Socializing online, a new concept at the time.
Sometime in the late summer or early fall, I saw an email on "Discuss" from
some kid from Florida, who needed a ride from nyc area where he was on a
business, up to albany, as phish was playing a run of shows that started in
Long Island then in Albany. I happened to be in nyc on business at the
same time, and was planning to make that drive myself, so after checking
him out based on a few comments in his post, i contacted Jeremy. seemed
like a nice enough guy, and i agreed to drive him to albany. and this was
the beginning of one of the most important, yet all too short friendships i
have had in my life.
Jeremy and I each had our own friends in Albany, and we didn't hang out too
much together during those shows. Afterwards, however, we began to keep in
touch more and more, and make plans together to go to shows. Most of these
were tDB shows, although we also spent most of the summer of 2000 traveling
together, seeing most of the Phish summer tour that year.
Over the years, especially in that first year or so of our friendship, I
introduced Jeremy to many people. Although he was much more social than I
tend to be, since I live up north where most of the people in our small but
growing scene were based, I just met them first in many cases. And as time
went by, Jeremy began introducing me to more and more people, since it
never took him long to make friends. One of the first people Jeremy
introduced me to was Kira. Although she didn't travel often with Jeremy, I
got to meet and spend time with her most of the times she did come along,
and we all spent one of the best weeks of our lives together for the Phish
Millenium celebration at Big Cyprus, in Florida. Several of my college
friends had rented an RV, and we met up with Jeremy and a few carloads of
his friends at his house, and proceeded to caravan to the festival.
Anyway... these are some of the early memories of my friendship with
Jeremy. In this first year or so we knew each other, we visited each
other's homes, and soon began plans to start a business together. We had
some amazingly fun times together. We learned a lot from each other, and
I continue to learn from his memory to this day. We also had some not so
amazing times - it was almost like we were brothers, and with that
relationship came occasional disagreements, or "competitions" over girls,
or other things that people who are close to one another find getting in
the way at times. The thing is, we always got past those problems, and we
seemed to get closer as the years went by.
We each made changes in our lives, and I'd like to think those were for the
better. One of the things I was looking forward to more than anything else
this year was that I was supposed to be working in Florida for a few months
over this winter, and I could not wait to meet Skylar, spend quality time
with Jeremy and Kira, and somehow feel like we would be able to take our
friendship into a more "adult" phase of our lives (not that either of us is
the type to ever completely grow up, I mean where is the fun in *that*??)
So, this winter, after some career changes on my part, I ended up not
working in Florida, but going down anyway for the benefit shows that the
Disco Biscuits held for Kira and Skylar. I now have pics of all 3 spread
through my new home, in philly. I think of Jeremy ever day, and try to
make those thoughts a positive influence in my day.
And still, I think there is one time I miss him most. In our love of
sports, we had many favorite teams that opposed the other's favorite. And
just about anytime the Patriots played the Dolphins, or when the Redsox
played the Marlins in interleague play, we would talk - before, during,
and/or after the game, often several times. I can only imagine how much
fun we would have had as we hoped for a Redsox/Marlins world series this
past year. Of course, I took Jeremy's side and rooted for the Marlins to
win it all (its just a damn good thing that darned curse continued another
year, cuz I never could have rooted against my own team!).
On that note, I think I'm just about done. Jeremy, you were one of the
best friends I ever had, and I will miss you forever. As long as we are
talking about sports, though, I guess I have one request for you, hope you
don't mind. If you happen to be in some place now where they keep track of
things like curses against baseball teams, could you do an old friend a
favor and see what you can do about reversing that damn one involving the
Today, on your 31st birthday, I first and foremost want you to know that not anyone has forgotten the joy that was your life, and that in your absense, we (and I mean a collective we including but not limited to your parents, Kira, your beautiful baby girl Skylar, your friends, your favorite band, and anyone else who was honored to come in contact with you throughout your life) have done what we can to pick up the pieces after you left us as best we could...we've made friends with one another in effort to help us through such a painful, troubling hardship... and we've been able to keep getting through it; I know I have, mostly because I've been able to think of you smiling somewhere. It's that smile that keeps me going.
Jeremy, most people do not realize the kind of friendship we really have. I'm sure a lot of our mutual friends certainly remember a period of time where we'd bicker again and again, while others would remember us running around that hotel in Deer Creek, hiding from the world, sneaking one or two moments just to be ourselves and make fun of said world we were running from. I don't know exactly what the first thing I think of you is upon reminiscing about your life... it was probably many, many things at once, swirled carefully in my head. The way you always had to be right. The socks. The many fitness chats we'd have over some chocolate. The time you ate more sushi than anyone else in the entire place, saying that it was okay, citing some health reason that you convinced every other diner was true.
You were always one to show your true feelings. You were never afraid to admit you were scared when you found out you were having Skylar. You were never afraid to tell your parents when you didn't get a specific job done right. All that considered, you were never afraid to just be yourself, and even if that self meant an erratically-tempered man running around the streets of New York City with your cold allergy searching for your next endeavor with the biggest grin on your face, knowing that success would always be a part of you, no matter what.
I remember the joke we had, the one we'd pretty much worn out as years went by, but to us, it was hilarious, almost the basis of our friendship in the first place. You would always say to me, during an argument or otherwise, "yes, but I'm older. I'll always be older." And at the time, that single line would settle any argument we'd been having. The night before your 30th birthday, you called me to let me know that now you were *really* older, so that for your birthday present, you wanted to let me know that you have officially won.
The ultimate irony being, of course, that you'll always really be 30, though I'll celebrate every single March 1 for the rest of my life and count how old you would have been every time just so you can *always* get the last laugh, as you would have wanted anyway.
I know you know that I love you, but I really, truly do. I hope that somewhere you are smiling and remembering our friendship as beautifully as I am.
Happy birthday, man.
I really miss you.