Yesterday I got the bad news that my very good friend and former riding instructor passed away. He was one of the most melodramatic individuals I have ever known, yet he died in his sleep. Almost as if he wanted to get the last laugh and just go quietly, without a big story as was usually the case with him. I am so sad, selfishly, because he helped me out in so many ways and I will miss him. I went through a time a few years ago...all I can call it was *a time*...there is no other way to describe it. My marriage was a wreck, one of my very bestest friends had betrayed me, my job was in jeapordy because of all of this, and I honestly thought I was *losing it*. Such a long story and it seems like ages ago. I, of course (!!) was still taking riding lessons...tho, I doubt I was accomplishing much for $40/30 min. Poor G, my instructor, patiently listened to my frustrations and put up with my crying. I was so tense I once nearly got thrown into the arena wall by a bucking horse. What did G do?...he stood there and yelled, "HANG ON!" LOL As a tribute to my friend G, I will publish a list of "My 10 Reasons I Love G"...I'll miss you!
1) G was the first gay person I met who talked openly about his gayness and actually enjoyed my questions about what it was like to be gay. We went to gay bars, met more gay people... I learned volumes.
2) He was the only person I have ever met who could meet someone he knew just about anywhere he went...it was a treat to trek to Chicago with him.
3) He taught me that no matter how poor a person is, one can always, ALWAYS enjoy food. Whatta cook.
4) I am still in awe of his love for animals of any kind. G kept chickens and one day after my lesson we found one of his chickens had been killed. We turned to see a hawk climbing the wire fence of the chicken coop to get to another chicken...G wacked the hawk with his leg (!!) and cornered him, gave him a lecture on why the sonofabitch should stay away from his chickens, and then watched him fly off. I had never seen a hawk up-close...they are very scary.
5) G was one of those people who had something wierd and funny happen to him no matter what he was doing. I so looked forward to his, "...ok, you won't believe what happened to me over the weekend..." It was always classic. And funny.
6) The people I met, the places I saw, the lessons I learned, and the food I ate as a result of having known G are many. He had this amazing network of movie stars, migrant workers, brain surgeons, messed-up, and together people...the list is endless. I am a better person as a result.
7) Thanks, G, for never again mentioning the time we were having the lesson outside and we were talking about our friend (the friend who so betrayed me...and YOU) and I started sobbing and then you started sobbing and we finally had to go to the barn to cry because we were so sad. How could this happen to us? It was so nice to have a friend that day.
8) G was strong for a teensy guy. He was shorter than I and def. weighed less...yet, he never shyed from a nutsy 1500 lb. horse or a crying student. I wish I could have been as strong for him as he was for me.
9) I loved the way he kind of waddled when he walked. The barn where I ride and G worked has very beautiful trails and grounds. During the summer of *the time* we took more than one walk. I was taking a photography class and I had to take pictures with a Ken doll...we were supposed-to pose him in different backgrounds. G was so excited to help...he did his little waddle step down the path to point out some flower or tree for Ken...it cracked me up and the pics were wonderful. Only G could dance like that.
10) G, your memorial service is going to be such a happy/sad time. All your friends will be there...gay/straight...in this time of such stupid homophobia, you are the person who will bring them all together. We all miss and love you. Be happy and thanks for being our friend.