Friday, February 20, 2009
I am very sad to tell you that one of my dearest long time friends has passed away of a heart attack at age 60. John Schandelmayer and I have been friends for some 37 years or so, and I learned of his death today. We do not have many dear friends in this world, and John was my best friend, I shall miss him very much.
I met John through an ad in the newspaper, Motorcycle for Sale. I bought my first used Honda from him and we were fast friends from that moment forward. He and his wife at the time, Linda, taught me to race motocross. We camped, shot pistols, and had the best times camping, racing motorcycles, and catamarans. He was a natural athlete, a race car driver, kung foo fighter, kayaker, world class wind surfer, heavy weather sailor, motorcycle racer, mountain biker and I am sure I have left something out of his amazing life. John would sit in his truck and read his bible before he raced, he was a devout Bahai. He was the brother I wanted and needed in my life.
John and Linda later divorced and eventually John married Vicki. To John’s credit, he and Vicki added Linda to their lives and they all raised Jeremy, John’s son with Linda. They would visit Linda in Georgia and stay with her; she would visit with them in Florida. Linda worked for John and I would joke that he had two wives; he never got rid of the first one.
Today I was going to skype his cell phone and say hello. We usually greeted each other with John’s customary, “How the hell are you?” He was as warm and comfortable as an old familiar shoe. As Vicki said to me, John oozed kindness, that is a good description of his warmth.
I had been anxiously awaiting his visit to our farm, he would have loved it I am sure. Phil and I had hoped that John would spend his retirement years breathing in this glorious place in which we live. We wanted to share it with him and now that opportunity will be lost forever. We will miss him more than he could ever know, but our lives are richer for having called him friend. So long my friend, you will always be in our hearts. But mine is breaking at this moment.