- 34 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 8, 1969
- Date of passing: Nov 20, 2003
|"And now for something completely different ..." - Monty Python|
This memorial website was created to honor and remember Garrett. He was a man who loved his family, especially his two kids. He enjoyed hanging out with friends whether it was a Friday evening get together with the neighbors or sharing a motorcycle ride. Some weekends Garrett could be found working in the basement, garage or yard, tinkering with this or that (everything from welding truck parts, to making wooden toys, from swimming in the pool, to creating a large bomb fire). He also loved hanging out with his family for BBQs, going to the lake house up north, or just sitting around chatting. There was just a lot of stuff Garrett enjoyed!
This website is a place to celebrate Garrett’s life and share his stories. Please look around, read the "Let Me Tell You About Garrett" stories, see the photo slideshows, and then feel free to add more stuff (like pictures, life chapters, and other stories). There’s so much more to Garrett’s life than what I can tell. It’s my hope that along with celebrating and sharing, we can also all add to Sam & Stephanie’s “picture” of their daddy.
Here’s some places to get started:
Video photo slideshow from childhood thru ... : Video Photo Slideshow
Read the "Let Me Tell You About Garrett" stories: Stories PDF document
Mocc’s photo tribute to Garrett: Mocc's Tribute Page
(P.S. this is a work in progress so let me know if you see anything that needs to be changed, added or removed – Missie)
"Before "2004 Braveheart" I put these thoughts down and although I ment to share them, I'm not sure I ever did. I offer them with the hope that others can share the with me the spirituality of my friend, Garrett.
With another Braveheart planned and in the works, I find myself already excited and starting to dream of dancing lines of bikes topped with people I’m dying to see again. I also find myself pondering the unique relationships this event has fostered and the dynamics created that seem to have affected just about everyone who has spent a week on the MJ/EMU masterpiece. (They more than anyone else are responsible you know!!) That is not to take away from the able jobs done by Richie and Bob, with plenty of help from their Lieutenants on III and IV. Suffice it to say that it just gets better.
I was lucky enough to visit Mocc and Deb, and Ray and Barb at Xmas. I couldn’t help but bring up how much Garrett, (G-man), is on my mind and how I’m missing him. We had some great conversations, the six of us, and I just have to put some of it out there cause I don’t think I’m alone in this.
How can I get so close to people that they feel like family when the time is so short. Why am I able to share more and feel more in a week than I do the rest of the year? Is there some sort of magic working here? I think there is.
We have something in common to begin with don’t we. We’re just a tad outside the norm because we love the ride. Most of us came to it before it was that well thought of or accepted. Remember just wanting to ride without the necessity to explain it when you couldn’t anyway, at least not to a non-rider. It’s about the feeling that you belong to your environment; that you smell it; that you taste it; that sometimes the machine is an extension of your body; that you dance with it; that it’s all there is for a little while; that it’s communion! Yea, we have that to start with. When you can look into a face and the eyes say they know what you’re thinking; what you’re feeling; well, that’s something in common alright.
And then there is an attitude. Or should I say a lack of attitude that seems to come on these rides. The things that make us defensive or envious stay home. The worried and mean side stays home. The everyday “gotta make a living” bastard stays home and the person we wanna be, the person we should be, the person we are under all the veneer of necessity shows up. And he’s a pretty likable fellow. It’s all because we love the wheel. Now, all of this is ok to explain the lure, the addiction of Braveheart. And usually it’s enough: but not this year.
This year Garrett made me look just a little deeper. All of the above is certainly true but it can’t explain the last factor in this whole equation. Garrett brought his regular self to every Braveheart and he became my friend, my confidant, my wingman. I was under his roof and knew him as a husband, a father and an intelligent engineer. It’s not just the wheel and it’s not just a better attitude. It’s the person. It’s the magic. It’s the Karma. It’s Providence weaving the threads of our lives into warm cloak we can put on whenever we’re chilled by the breath of reality. Weren’t no accident boys!! Karma.. better yet, my unbelievable good fortune to have had the chance to know him; and he’s not the only Braveheart out there.
So where do I go from here. I have been looking for a way to reconcile the loss into something I can live with. I know there is great rejoicing in heaven when a good man goes home but I need something here, if you get my meaning. And, as usual, we get what we need, even if we don’t always earn it.
In this case, I remembered something on the soundtrack from the PBS special on the Civil War (which I revisited via the soundtrack). A Union soldier before the first battle of Manassas, Bull Run to a Yankee like me, had a premonition of his own death and wrote a letter to his wife. His name was Sullivan Ballou. Look it up, it’s pretty well known and the letter is some of the best prose I’ve read. Although this is taken out of context, it’s still a pretty powerful thought.
”But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night -- amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.”
So boys, if you stop at some lonely lookout and the view is a wonder; if you’re shaded and the air is warm, perfect; if the only sounds are nature singing to ya and the tick of a cooling engine; if you wish someone could share it with you, then maybe when the breeze brushes your hair back and you feel that completeness that special moments bring, you’ll know that the spirits of all who count with us never leave. If you’re open to it, you can feel them brush by. They never stop caring and caring for us. Maybe it’s a little extra nudge on your bar in the curve that keeps you on the road. Maybe it’s slowing down just before some idiot pulls out and maybe it’s just knowing that you’re sharing something beautiful with another soul. Whatever, they’re there. And I’m thinking that Garrett is getting’ a kick out of my ol’ man and my two siblings. I just hope they don’t tell him everything!"
"What a nice tribute, Melissa! It's been thirteen years since that first collection of internet "strangers" spent a week exploring Michigan's U.P. on a wonderful ride that forever became known as the Braveheart Tour. I'm proud to have organized that trip, and prouder yet to watch the lifetime friendships that evolved. Garrett "G Man" was very much a catalyst for that evolution. He was and will always be our friend.
"Russ & I think of Garrett and his family often. We still don't know why he was taken so early in life, because he had everything to live for, and he did it so well. We miss him dearly.
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