Occasionally, I meet a human being who fascinates me.
Their skills, their ambitions, their history, their character, their motivations, their lifestyle, their beliefs… leave a serious impact on me.
Often times, the individual fascinates me in one or some of the mentioned areas, but rarely all of them. You are one of those wonders, John, that knocks me out across the board as a human being.
Our friendship began around one of our greatest shared passions - music - some 7-8 years ago, and we have been fortunate to share the stage together in a number of different cities ever since.
I like who you are as a person, and I like how you live.
I like what you stand for, and how you do it - strong and vocal about your beliefs, while maintaining the capacity to revisit topics and potentially change your mind. This is a rare character trait, and it is one of my favorites of yours.
You not only wish and pray for the world to be a better place, but you follow it up with action. The story of you packing a U-Haul with supplies and traveling to New Orleans post-Katrina is one of my favorites, but I can think of numerous times in my life where I have witnessed you go out of your way to help another -- offer a smile and a warm embrace, pick up a stranger’s check at a restaurant, treat some friends to a concert, etc.
Not only are you a great person, but you are an animal - the born again neanderthal - who can turn any Sunday afternoon into an unforgettable rager. I am grateful for the many hours we have spent drinking freezer whiskey in the Garaj Mahal, our shenanigans at Mardi Gras or in Memphis, and the many shared meals at our favorite Mt Vernon establishments: King Barbacoa, The Frosty Mug and Pizza Man.
You have created a life to be proud of, and brought joy and new experiences to a lot of people’s lives - experiences they likely would not have had otherwise. All of it is admirable and really fucking cool.
You are one of my most treasured friends. If I finish my life with a heart half as big and giving as that of yours, I will consider myself successful.