Regardless of one’s politics, the news concerning Senator Kennedy today is sad and not very promising at the moment. The type of brain tumor he is said to have is usually very aggressive – and once you get to the seizure stage things go down hill very quickly.
Almost exactly ten years ago a good friend of mine, Eric Martin, had a seizure while doing contract work here in Nashville.
Eric passed passed out in the hallway of a common client of ours. Later the next day, he received word that he had a malignant brain tumor.
This occurred March 10th, 1998 (my wife’s birthday, as it turned out). Eric died on July 2nd of that year, a mere four months later.
Eric and I had been through a couple of startups together and numerous “death march” programming campaigns. I had given Eric his first paying programming job, testified in court on his behalf in a civil suit, mutually sued a former employer for back pay, and helped him move out of his house following his divorce.
Eric has been on my mind lately, even without the news of Senator Kennedy’s diagnosis. He was a friend – if not THE friend – of my youthful adulthood. Ten years passes very quickly.
As sad as the news is today, and as much as I miss Eric during such times, I also remember some of the great times we had together, like:
- Meeting Steve Miller backstage at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville. Eric used to be a sideman (he was a drummer) for Slim Whitman (of “Mars Attacks!” fame), and his old drum instructor was Steve Miller’s drummer on that particular tour. Pretty cool to toss back a few cold brews with the “Space Cowboy.”
- Trout fishing together on the Caney Fork River below Center Hill Dam.
- After one night of all night imbibing (I guess I was 28 at the time), I came into work in the same clothes I wore the night before. Eric had one of our salesman come in and tell me that I had to do a technical presentation for new investors in 30 minutes and that I had to go back into the warehouse and get a machine to demo. I went back to the warehouse, only to find the demo machine in a million pieces and the two of them laughing their heads off.
- Eric and I played darts a few nights a week, and at one particular Comdex in Atlanta we played some guys in Buckhead about 50 games in a row (or so it seemed) while watching Ayrton Senna drive in what was to be his last Formula One race. I had to pay the hotel for an extra half-day because I couldn’t drag Eric’s hung over tail out of bed to check out the next day.
Here’s hoping your memories made today will be the good old days of tomorrow – and that you are blessed to have a friend like Eric.