I can't believe it's been 11 years. When I think that I only really knew him for 12 years, that seems like such an incredibly long time. But in many ways, it seems like we were hanging out just yesterday. I can still hear that self-confident, man-with-a-plan tone in his voice...
"Get in the car, Curt"
"Huh? Where we going?"
"North. Get in the car."
"GET IN THE CAR"
Then 3 hours later we'd be lost in upstate Connecticut, driving around in his dumpy Toyota, him belting out Led Zeppelin while we explored the state...
And I can still vividly remember he and Bill insisting we go out to lunch in January of '99. I was planning on moving back to San Francisco. I had a job and an apartment lined up and was planning to leave in a week. I had met this great girl at the Nut's New Year's Eve party, and though I'd been spending a lot of time with her, I was still planning to move back west. I was heartbroken at the prospect of leaving her, but I felt my path had been set and it was my responsibility, my obligation, to stay on it.
So moments after I sit down to lunch at the Southport Brewing Company, I realize it was an ambush. They made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that I would be making the mistake of a lifetime if I went back to San Francisco. I can still hear Bo telling me "what a complete fool" I would be if I didn't listen to them...how this woman was "the best thing that ever happened to you." He was getting angry in classic Chris Bowley "I-love-you-but-I-can't-believe-what-an-idiot-you-are" form.
Of course they were right. I was being an idiot. But I hadn't known it until he grabbed me by the shoulders and made me realize it. I often think of that day, for had it not happened, I wouldn't be married to that woman, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet my two beautiful children.
My thanks to you, Bo (and you too, Bill). I owe a tremendous debt to you both.