I don’t think about High School often. High School wasn’t what I would describe as “fun”. Now, I wasn’t a major social outcast or anything like that. I wasn’t emo, or punk, or goth. I was just your basic geek, but school was made stressful by the fact that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and was one of the first people in the school district to be diagnosed with it when I was in Elementary school – and the lions share of High School was spent fighting the school district to give me the support I needed. This was stressful.
However, there were high points. They were, in order of when they happened. Hanging out with my friends in the school’s stairwell (and playing Quake II with them in the computer lab – I got into MUDs, First Person Shooters, and playing games online against people this way), the group of people in my class I circled through my classes with, and the high school Anime Club.
Right now, I’m going to talk about that second group, and one member in particular. Of that group, the ones I remember most were Beau Jacobsen, Sandy Kalik, Kate Boeher, Hap Purden, Mickey Clark, Ian Mclennan, Travis Galbreath, Gary Marcoux, Davey Farley, AJ Bartholemew, and I’m definitely forgetting some others whose names I haven’t already misspelled (and if you’re reading this, I apologize for omissions and misspellings.)
I found out today, that Beau is no longer with us. I don’t know precisely how he died, but I know he drowned, and apparently was diving. Beau and I didn’t hang out particularly outside of school. He was involved in sports, and I definitely was not. However, he made every single class I shared with him better by his presense. He was a very smart man. Say what you will about him, he was not a dumb jock. I always felt that he was interested, involved, and, and in my opinion this is the sign of a great person – when he didn’t know something, he’d ask for help, rather then trudging on regardless. I don’t do that sometimes, many times – and I consider myself a supergenius (and overestimate my intelligence).
Plus, he was interested in other people, and cared about what they were into. Hell, being that I serialized my blog through my Facebook account, and he and I were friends on facebook, he might have read every post on this blog as it came up, from the lame to the awesome. Beau was the kind of guy where if you’d tell him something you’d done that you thought was cool, even if, as soon as you said it it sounded horrendiously lame coming out of your mouth (short of “Let me tell you about my character” level lame), while he might not be interested enough want to listen at length (though me being socially inept in high school would do it anyway), he would at least say “That’s cool” and mean it. Because of Beau, I was actually looking forward to my High School Reunion, whenever that would be, because Beau is probably the non-geek (or one of the few non-geeks in the place) that I could say, when you get asked the question of “What have you been up to since graduation,” and you have to give your high-point of the last few years, I could say “I review anime and movies for a web page with decent readership,” and he’d say “That’s cool” and might even be legitimately impressed until I mentioned that I don’t get paid – which is okay because everyone does that.
Beau, this world is at least a few shades darker without you in it. But, on the bright side, the other world is at least a couple shades brighter.
Unfortunately, being unemployed, I can’t exactly take my own advice on this, but Beau loved the outdoors and the ocean – and I can’t think of a better tribute than a donation to one of the following groups
- College of Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, to help fund Oceanographic research in the Pacific Northwest.
- The University of Puget Sound, where Beau was attending.
- The Ocean Conservancy, a less regionally focused charity, which works for preservation of the world’s oceans.
- Being that Beau helped to fight forest and brush fires in Washington during last summer, a more land-based way to donate money in his name would be to your local National Park.
Sorry for taking a turn for the serious and sedate here. I’ll try to bring the funny later. But to be honest, even though I haven’t seen Beau for quite some time (face to face), while I’ve been writing all this, by which I mean the blog, from a geeky perspective, I brought my funny, my witty, my snarky, and occasionally my profane not necessarily (the skateboarding article aside) from my aspirations of Hunter S. Thompson/Spider Jerusalem-dom, but from wanting to write something that would entertain my more geeky friends from College and my less geeky friends from High School who might be reading this through my Facebook. OtakuGeneration, Alex Navarro, and Hunter S. Thompson inspired me to start writing, Beau, Hap, Ian, Mickey, Gary, and all of them were, and for those still with us – (which IIRC is most of them) are, the that which keeps me writing (as well as all of you who are putting in comments which don’t contain the names of perscription medications).
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough for tonight, and this is without an appointment with Dr. Funk (who actually I’ve never been to see). I’m going to miss you Beau, but to paraphrase one of my favorite movies – you’re really not dead, as long as we remember you.