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Messages for Bubba
01-13-2020, 02:03 PM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2020 02:55 PM by Nung.)
Post: #7
RE: Messages for Bubba
(01-13-2020 08:04 AM)Laffitupfzbl Wrote:  Been a rough few days. I'm still just walking around with my head down, trying to process. I've always loved this man's playing and writing. Since I was 8 years old, first time I heard some tunes. RIP Neil. You were the greatest and you touched a lot of lives.

A great post. Thank you.

I had posted a few times Friday over on the first thread that was created in response to the news but since then I have been, as you (and probably all of us) "trying to process." So I thought I'd try and say what I've come up with...

Trying to process. It is such a simple phrase, easy to say, easy to conceive, but actually, quite difficult to do when the subject is the loss of a loved one. And Neil was that, a loved one. It seems odd to say but it is true, I think we all saw Neil as a loved one.

We all thought this but rarely said it here. Because Rules.
Neil's rules.

Those of us here on this very special Forum understood the ground rules: this is not a Band forum nor a place where we could openly lavish praise on our host. But it was a substantial gift, and one that Neil didn't have to do. We understood that we had (and I hope, continue to have) a great place to share our thoughts about great food, libations, and all the hobbies that make us whole. Many of us--without even trying--seemed to have the same interests as Neil did. I think we all love food and cooking. Most of us enjoy wines and spirits. Many of us bicycle and ride motorcycles. Many of us love literature and many of us write. I think we ALL love music. I think we all felt a bit more connected to our host because of these shared interests.

Bubba seemed to be that rare, famous person that had perspective. He knew that he was a regular guy that was living his dream. He famously wanted to always be true to his 16-year old self. But it was clear that he was very responsible despite chasing those dreams. As the music unfolded around us we all took notice. He was a phenomenal drummer. The power, cleverness, and grace was always on display. But he also wrote those lyrics. The lyrics that always questioned the whys and the hows. He insisted on not dumbing down the lyrics. He treated us as adults. He made us all think and best of all, he inspired us.

At least he did that for me. He inspired me to be a better drummer. He inspired me to be a better thinker, to be fairer, to be more inclusive. He inspired me to both stick to my convictions but to also always consider the other side of a topic.

His books inspired me on dozens of levels. They inspired me to keep writing. He inspired me because he made it clear that writing helps the writer and then it helps the reader. Many of us started with "Ghost Rider." It blew me away. Neil's writing confirmed that it was OK to be sad. It was OK to process. It was OK to not have the answers. And most of all, it was imperative to bounce after the hits that life levels at us. His ability to love again convinced me that I too could come back from heartache and love again.

Hi lyrics, and especially his books and his blogs were gifts. They inspired me to embrace the things that I already loved. They inspired me to look into things i didn't really know about. They inspired me to look at the small things, like a hummingbird nest, and to see the lessons and the parallels in our lives.

While Neil did introduce some of us to some new things, perhaps his greatest gift was his knack for celebrating the little things, the existing things that we already loved. He didn't seem to take things for granted. In the process, he made it cool to be a lover of the things he loved. He made it OK to be a thinker, he made it cool to be a bicyclist, a motorcyclist, a tourist, a nerd, a good-deed doer, a joker, and a philosopher. Actually, he made it completely cool, not just OK to be these things.

For those of us that were raised to be polite and to serve others, he made it OK to remember that one can go TOO far and disappear in the service of others (at the expense of ourselves). He famously said that he could not pretend to see a stranger as a long-lost friend, but he was famously nice with people that stumbled onto him. He famously was generous with the the causes that he supported. He was known to write back strangers and treat them with respect. He seemed to have a balance in most areas. And that too was inspiring to me.

I always had a feeling that I might run into him at a motorcycle shop or out in the dirt or the road. I knew that I'd enjoy hinting that I knew who he was but would resist the temptation to fawn all over him. But of course, that won't happen know. But we all have the gifts he gave us. There are so many gifts. He gave of himself much more than he let onto.

This Forum is one of the many gifts he gave us. It has provided so much to so many of us. I hope that his family and friends now see this place as a measure of how much he was loved.

The best thing we can do is to be true to ourselves. Be yourself. Help others but be true to yourself. And tell the people you love how you feel. Because most of us can only be immortal for a short time. Neil, well, he comes as close as anyone can to immortality just because of all the gifts he gave us.

But Neil knew the biggest, most important thing one human can do for another: inspire them. He mentioned this in his HoF induction speech. Inspiring another person to follow their dreams and to do the right things is the greatest gift ever.

Thank you, Neil. Bubba's Grille is a great place to keep his memory alive. I am still processing. It will take a long time. In the meantime, I go for my rides, I play music, I drum, I think, I drink The Macallan, but above all, I remain inspired. And I know that there are quite a few more gifts to be discovered. That makes me feel a bit better.

Finally, my heart goes out to his family, his friends, his band mates, and everyone that knew him. I cannot imagine how tough this all must be for those people. But I did lose a brother about 20 years ago. He went far too soon (age 40). So on some level, I know something of the gut-punch that this loss is. Neil felt like he could have been a brother to most of us.

My heart goes out to all of you that feel that loss.

"I don't cook; I prepare things." My late brother Bill
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Messages In This Thread
Messages for Bubba - Boomer - 01-10-2020, 08:45 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Sololson - 01-11-2020, 12:59 AM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Nortec00 - 01-11-2020, 04:42 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - 762X39 - 01-12-2020, 01:08 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - HarleyMan2112 - 01-12-2020, 09:01 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Laffitupfzbl - 01-13-2020, 08:04 AM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Nung - 01-13-2020 02:03 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - steveo2112 - 01-13-2020, 03:13 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - drummer62 - 01-14-2020, 03:02 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - N'awlins - 01-17-2020, 01:33 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Nung - 01-17-2020, 03:33 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Nettie - 01-19-2020, 01:37 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Wintertide - 01-19-2020, 05:38 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Boomer - 01-19-2020, 08:19 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - drummer62 - 01-20-2020, 07:26 AM
RE: Messages for Bubba - HarleyMan2112 - 01-19-2020, 11:43 PM
RE: Messages for Bubba - Nung - 02-27-2020, 01:17 PM

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