ElBob, I’ll remember you

August 31, 2014 was the first time LordBeariofBow (Brian Smith) commented on my blog. It didn’t take long for our exchanges to lean toward banter. Some might wonder how it is I remember the date of our initial conversation. It’s easy . . . I saved all of the comments notifications (and, therefore, the comments). All in all, I’ve had 716 interactions with Brian (some of the interaction spanning multiple exchanges) with roughly a tenth of those being direct email communications, and all of them with a good dose of aforementioned banter.

I’m not sure if he ever realized he was outclassed and outmatched . . . but then, I was also oblivious on the matter.

I could easily get a rise out of this otherwise gentle man just by calling a ship a boat, or explaining to him why American English is a much better language (an improvement, to be exact) than the stuffy Brittish version and yes, I could get an additional reaction by misspelling “British” and using the term as if it was interchangeable with “English”.

We also sparred on his love of Socialism, his defense of royalty and The Royals, and a few other things. It wasn’t always fun, of course. We butted heads on a few things and even cooled on each other for a few spells.

But make no mistake; I respected and admired the man even as I tried to educate him on the error of his ways. Brian was sharp, a self-taught erudite, intolerant of trendiness, unashamedly old-fashioned, entertaining, and a person who experienced life more fully than most. His blog is worth reading (if one can get past his tendency to be easily derailed by stray thoughts) because it deals with interesting events and offers the perspective of a person who had much to share by way of life experiences.

Yes . . . was. Brian had battled and overcome a few health issues before we connected in the blogosphere five years ago and recently had more severe health-related events to contend with.

Throughout it all, he maintained a good humor about the absurdity and frustration of life and continued to contribute to my and other people’s blogs until a few months ago when things started to take their toll and doing even routine things like taking his beloved Coco for a walk became too much of a burden.

Yesterday, on my return from the cruise, I read Brian had passed away on the 24th. Frankly, knowing his end-of-life wishes and how difficult things had gotten, it was a relief. He had wished for his body to be donated for medical research but he had become too frail to be accepted. 

I don’t remember when I came up with ElBob. This post briefly mentions the evolution of the moniker as an initial contraction of his blogging name (LBoB) to the eventual morphing of the abbreviation to ElBob. That same post is also when I offered up a logo to go with his name:

I never meant it as derogatory (I shorten many blogger names to make commenting easier) and he seemed to like it.

In the announcement, there’s the following bit:

“… if you fancy taking some time to remember dad I know he would love you to listen to Beethoven’s Missa solemnis. He’d be thrilled to think that was being played around the world for him. He also loved Beethoven s Ninth Symphony or Mozart’s Coronation March. If classical music is not your thing – he loved ol blues eyes – Frank Sinatra!”

I like some classical music but not in that kind of quantity/length. I’ll link them here . . .

. . . and even include (and listen to) one of the more palatable Sinatra songs . . .

When it comes to music in remembrance of someone, I offer the song I always mentally cue up in such circumstances . . . 

Sure, there are religious overtones and neither Brian or I lean that way, but the sentiment is true.

I also offer up this musical piece . . .

. . . to go with the following graphic (with my apologies to ElBob for using a cruise ship as the background) . . .

It’s one of the frustrating things with making friends online . . . the chances of ever meeting are remote. I would have liked to meet Brian in person and experience his smile and good humor first hand . . . along with his obstinacy and obdurateness. Hooroo, Brian (gosh; I hope I used that correctly).

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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