Today I had the unfortunate experience of laying a close friend to rest way earlier than I would have ever hoped to have done. His name was Eric Hanson, or as his friends would call him Devo. I try to stay positive and see the bright side but through this experience I was, for lack of a better word, shook. I've lost friends before and it's always hard but this one in particular got to me more than ever before. Devo was the light of everyone's lives that he touched and nobody hated him, his prime motive was to see you smile. That light, I felt, was out of my life forever.
But today after his funeral I found that light was still lit. I was at dinner looking at all of these people who loved Devo, these were people from all walks of the car community. We were able to laugh and reminisce about all the great times we've had. Devo brought everyone together, it was as if he was a higher being than the rest of us. He was always down to do whatever and was always there to help. I mean this in the kindest way, he was an enabler. If you were bumming out about your car build not going right, he was the sort of guy to dig your car out and force you to fix it. He was always there for you, he would work late to weld you up the most amazing downpipe you've ever seen for your super obscure classic Subaru. Devo had friends throughout the car community, and beyond, all of his friends were family, there was no hierarchy.
The car community is a beautiful thing, we've taken what many consider to be an appliance for transit and created beautiful works of art out of them. It is our form of expression and with this canvas we meet some of the most amazing people in our lives. Then we meet more friends through mutual friends and our bonds grow stronger. We forge our family through shared experiences. Through BBQs at friends houses, through buying parts with each other, installing them and taking them out racing.
Today a lot of people make their lives as drama, drama, drama and don't stop to think of where they are, the people in their lives. I've had a chance to stop and look at my surroundings today and see that I have friends that I would have never met if not for cars and people like Devo. Some of these people, although not blood, are closer than any of my family members could ever be. Nothing creates bonds like being under a hood with your closest friends or experiencing the rush of hooning the crap out of your friend's new car together. These friends are from across all walks of life, from podunk farmers that live so far out in the boonies that the earth's geography stops and the world feels like it goes flat, to my childhood best friend that I've grown into a car loving man child with. Even to Devo, who showed up on my friend's couch and never left our lives.
The point I'm trying to get at here is that we should all take a minute from time to time and appreciate our friends. Our family. These are the people we live our lives with and we should absolutely appreciate every second we have together, even when they leave all the doors to your condo at Proving Grounds open and you get eaten alive by Mosquitoes. I know life gets in the way, it is part of growing older and becoming an adult but as impossible as it seems, you absolutely need to make time for them. Hit up your friend you haven't seen in a minute and make sure you see them, set up a dinner night with your friends, meet up at the races, whatever you need to do. We only have so long together and these people are the most important people in your life.