April 5, 2009

On the occasion of Dave Rogers’ birthday.

A poor poem on the occasion of a best friend’s Birthday.


Some day, I’ll have a son. Not soon, I don’t think—lately it’s hard to find anyone to 

fall in love with

and my days are filled with rebuilding my life’s work within a new vessel

but someday, I’ll have say two children 

one for each knee

if either is a boy

here’s what I’ll say when they’re just old enough to get into trouble

Son, come here and sit with me

let me tell you about a big


hairy man

named Dave

when your dad was a young troublemaker he 

looked up to Dave, because Dave was cool. In fact, he was so cool he could make things that weren’t cool, like being kind and dressing up, seem cool. He was a leader.

He made dressing to the nines—in a fun, personal way—seem like an okay thing to do in Boulder (which at that time was one style-step removed from Hippiedom).

But what I loved about him, and admired, was his strength of character. He cared about people—not in the theoretical way your dad does, son—he actually acted on that caring. How many people do so? 

One time, we were driving in his car, dead of winter, and a car had wiped out in the middle of the road. Tons of cars behind it, just honking, no one helping push it off the ice. The kind of thing you see a dozen times every winter in Boulder, or anywhere it’s cold. The kind of thing you say, oh, I hope they’re alright I should help out and keep going…by the time you think to stop you’re a block on and turning around would be tough…

…well he stopped on a dime. And then he had your dad jump out and help that poor marooned car out, so I got to feel like the hero.

In public, in private, he always says or thinks…”What’s the right thing to do?” Blessed with leadership and morals and a big bleeding heart, he spends his days having fun, enjoying life, playing sports…and helping others to do so. And, yeah, he works his butt off, biding his time then taking big risks…seeking to do work that matters, that might change the world just a little bit.

With girls, he’s respectful, gentlemanly, fun…he has little interest in the vacuous pursuits of empty boys and girls. If he’s not challenged by a woman, intellectually and actively, in life, he’s bored. He’s anything but cheap.

So, young man, maybe Dave represents a modern kind of gentleman. One who’s active, and moral, and can laugh at himself. He’s who I looked up to, when I was younger. And hopefully I learned something.

I know he kept me on the right track, a thousand times, when I could have spun off into bitterness or frivolity. He kept me focused on love, and fun, and service, and…that’s the moral of the story.


For more on a similar giving, strong man of character, read The Rich Boy, by Fitzgerald.

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