Monday, November 14, 2011

Great friends remembered

The picture you are looking at was drawn by my best friend and brother, Denver Steele. This blog is a dedication and memorial that shall live on in Galaxy Zento for me, forever.

You see three characters in that drawing. Those characters are an interpretation of three friends who formed a kind of trio when they met at Clearfield Job Corps Center, in Clearfield, Utah. The middle one is Denver, I'm the "falcon" and the bear? The bear repesents another dearly departed friend, Nelson Howell.

Denver wanted to be an actor and he was very good. We lived in Henderson, Nevada and he had a job at a small video store. I was working at a cabinet shop. With my writing and his acting, we hoped to get something started out there. That plan was cut short when his store was robbed and they shot him three times with a .22 revolver. I was the last person to see him alive (that was considered family)on the double shift he agreed to work. His killers were caught, and because I was part of that timeline, I testified in court back and forth for two years. They rot in prison to this day.

The news hit us all hard, but life goes on and more is always to come.

Ten years later, after we all had moved one. Nelson had a family of his own in Washington, Iowa. I had a family of my own too in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nelson was a big man, no denying that. We called him the bear because of it. He never worried about his weight. It ran in family heritage so he just took it as it went. It was early in the morning when his mother called me with the news. Nelson was out on his paper route when he simple passed out and fell. He was on blood thinners for a clot in his leg. There were already concerns that the doctor had him on too high a dose for his body, but it was too late. He left behind a wife and two kids.

So, that makes me the last of the trio from Job Corps, but there's one more who deserves just as much recognition.

Zach was a great kid, who was part of my last gaming group for Galaxy Zento. He went to Gen Con with us twice and I considered him and his sister as "god-children" to me. These two were very special to all of us. At first they were scared to hang out with us and join our little group. Why? Because they and their mother had to hide from and abusive man. He was dangerous and had tried to kill them before by setting fire to their home. To say the least, we took these kids under our "wings". Our group was comprised of people who worked heavy jobs, law enforcement, and bar "bouncing". No one was going to hurt these kids with us around.

But then, life changes again, one of us got a new job, and I moved to Wisconsin. I don't think it was six months after we moved before the phone call came. Zach was killed in a head on car accident with a truck and trailer. He was on his way to a heroclix game across town. He was 19 and studying architectural drafting. At his funeral we all put dice in and on his casket to send him off as a gamer should.

All three of these special and still missed people, created characters to help test Galaxy Zento. Those characters will live on in memory of them so long as I can keep it that way. So, if you are looking through pics on the fan page and see their names, you'll know why.
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