We are here tonight to share memories of our friend Donlad Grier aka FiftyOneFifty
Fifty was involved with many podcast over the years
Shared thoughts and memories:
I was in the back room pottering away when espeak notified me that 5150
had passed away. I went back to the computer and read the announcement
in the IRC Logs and confirmed the news. Some dude I had never met, never
seen in my life, and didn’t even know his real name, was gone and I was
in the back room crying my eyes out.
Crying for the loss of a friend.
When had he become a friend ?
People have been socializing since the dawn of humans, be it at the camp
fire, the forge, pub, hairdresser, sports club, church, or wherever.
For us it was via Linux podcasting. You are there because you share a
common interest. If you were into Linux podcasting then you could not
help but get to know fiftyonefifty. The guy turned up everywhere if not
on the podcasts themselves he was commenting on them. I have 619
messages from him about HPR alone.
He submitted his first show back in 2010 and has been a regular since
then. At some point after that I knew that he was on my “special list”
of people who I could rely upon to fill the queue if needed.
And as I sat there crying I realized that he had also sneaked onto my
list of friends.
I’ve not always been a fan of the New Year Show, but now I am glad for
it. While I may never get to share a beer with him any more, or take him
up on his promise to let me fire off some rounds on his farm, I did at
least get to shoot the breeze with him for many a happy hour.
Goodbye old friend you will be missed
A Ramble for FiftyOneFifty: King of Ramblers
I am writing a Ramble for a man I knew only as FiftyOneFifty. I never knew his real name,
nor do I know if he knew mine. In many things, Names do not matter, People, Actions, and
feeling do. We podcasted together off and on, over several years. I don’t recall exactly
how many. It doesn’t matter now, since they are all that there will ever be. We grew to be
good friends. I never met him in person, online life is like that. I only know my life would be
much poorer, if I had not known him. Hearing he died, shattered me. This Ramble is my try
at putting most the pieces back in place. Of course, nothing can replace the largest piece,
the Man Himself. My heart and prayers go out to those friends and family dealing with his loss.
His death is a harsh, unchangeable, fact. I shall focus on his life, and things better remembered
than the wall we all will hit one day. Fifty was a man if Life, Joy, and passions. That is how I shall
write of him. I had a far too short time, to learn about him, and from him. It will also warm my heart,
where he live yet, and has for a long time. I learned this fact, only after I could no longer talk with him.
I found him easy to talk with, and listen to. He was also “Vaccinated with a Victrola Needle ” as
my relatives might say. He could ramble on for hours. enjoyably. He virtually always made sense,
even when in his cups. He shared himself, his hobbies, experience, and his travels with us, on our
podcasts. While he went to Linux events, he never limited himself to just linux topics. He reported the
non Linux features of events. This great for choosing family trips to them. He included accommodations, restaurants, and pubs in the area. I don’t travel, or drive, so these second hand visit were a delight.
His research and Linux activities made up much of his contribution to our podcasts. He life also
flowed in, to entertain and inform us. He lived in the country, farming, cows, trouble getting Internet
service were included. My parents can off farms, so he even kept my ties to that life alive. Firearms, cars, especially his beloved Hearse were shared interests. tale from his tech support work, for businesses and schools enlightened me. Farmers are natural pack rats, so gathering all sorts of discarded computer gear was natural. Unfortunately he lost most of it in the fire which destroyed his house. Losing his house, and even his dear father, never seemed to blight his spirit or life, in the long run. It would be natural to keep such private matters from more distant friends, as I was. Nor did his long illness color the side of him I saw. it got in his way, sometimes, as I recall, but never in his spirit. I wish I had been closer, to offer myself more to the man I miss dearly. I must just try to use his independent example, in my own life. Anyone could do much, worse. His quiet touch helped heal me in ways I am only now realizing.
I started the day in tears, still aching from losing a rare, true friend. Then I recalled a song from Toby Keith, called “Cryin’ for Me (Wayman’s Song ) written about he loss of his close friend, Wayman Tisdale. Toby found about his friends passing on Friday. On Sunday Toby was driven to write the memorial song. In it he says his tears are not for his lost friend, who is now in Heaven, but for Toby himself, and all those family, and friends, Wayman left behind. I believe Fifty is in Heaven, with his Dad, and those who have gone before. He will see things from the Good Seats. He can enjoy all the Holidays, and never feel the cold. I was driven to write like Toby, to handle my own shock and grief. We Cry and Mourn, those left behind in the Mortal world, for our loss and pain. Our dear One is beyond pain, perhaps for the first time in years. He has earned his time in Grace. He as paid as we pay now, for life beyond grief, with those who have gone ahead. I hope my words and memories may help the ones he left behind. Pain is a Mortal thing. It need not be deadly, or poisonous. Fifty’s Life is a great example of this and many other things. I hope we can go forward, with his example helping heal our loss of him. God Bless You, Fifty, and those you touched in turn.
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