The strangest people under the strangest circumstances, can yield the strangest results.
A long time ago before the Internet ever became "alive", there were Bulletin Board Systems (otherwise known as BBS's) where people would gather in teleconference channels (tele meaning a dial up connection) to chat with strangers via text. Strangers would meet up with other strangers, resulting in friendships. Some of these 'chats' would involve calling long distance over the phone lines, and hooking up with another BBS site (often outside of Canada and even at times outside of North America) and groups of strangers would meet other groups of strangers... and just talk!
During one of these 'hookups', the BBS I was on was in a chat conference with another site in Boise, Idaho. And this happened many times. So many times, that it was decided that a 'camp out' meet would happen, where folks from all across Alberta would meet up with folks from the Idaho area, in a camp ground in BC. Actual face to face conversations would be had, along with huge amounts of food and drink, resulting with a friendship bonding that in many cases would last a life time.
I had the honor of meeting an outstanding American couple, Bob & Marti Cooper. I could go into details, but suffice to say that many more meetings, camp outs, and get-together's would happen over the years including home town visits in both countries.
This blog post is to honor my dear friend Bob, who passed away too early in life, on August 4th of this year. I was fortunate enough to be able to see him this past summer, and although he wasn't looking in the best of health, he still had his cheery bright smile and humor.
Bob was a short person and afraid of heights. But you just could not help but get taken in by his zest for life. While his full time job was working for the State of Idaho, he was extremely active in many social areas such as scouting. Everyone who came in contact with him and his wife Marti, well... there are just some charms in life that you can't seem to get enough of, and both of these people made you just want more and more of them.
I can only encourage the people of today's Internet world of Twitter and other social mediums... take the time to get to know who you are dealing with. Don't get lost in "just typing", meet the people behind the text and natter that goes on. Because if you don't, then you will miss out on the huge opportunities to meet some really great folks.
I did, and I'm damn glad too! We may not have lived next door to each other, but the door was always open. Bob and I were never "mushy", but we always hugged. We had this bond, this understanding of what a real friend is. You will always be in my heart, and in my mind. Rest in peace my friend...
For Marti and family... what can I say that hasn't been said or felt before. I join you in your celebration of Bob's life, even though I am a thousand miles away.