Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Amble On, Old Friend

Just found out today that an old blogging friend has gone on to amble along greener paths than those he found on this blue marble and at the local paper.

Daryl "Abe" Cochran, aka Old Rusty Bucket, aka Amblin' Abe, passed away this past Sunday. He was one of the "original" bloggers for the local rag, the Victoria Advocate, along with the Grey-Beard Loon and Pilot. Those three, in my day, formed a sort of "holy trinity" and I like to think that they gave a little class to a fledgling online version of an old and storied newspaper. Sadly, over the years, nearly all the early bloggers for that publication, including CJ Castillo, Tim Oi, Amber Bee, Natasha Verma, and others removed themselves from the ever-increasing lowered journalistic standards practiced by the VicAd, and most went off to form their own blogs on alternative sites. Some of us kept in touch through the years, and some not so much.

Abe (or as most called him, Rusty) wrote some down-to-Earth, humorous stuff that always had a gleam of truth to boot. His frankness sometimes offended those sensitive types, but he was never afraid to say what was on his mind. His riding mower adventures are legendary; well, at least in my mind they are. His mishaps quite reminded me of my dad at times. His "Amblin' Abe" outdoor column, always interesting and intelligently written, was deemed unnecessary by the "new guard" at the Victoria Advocate and he was summarily discharged so that more room could be devoted to unwed mamas and their baby daddies; the latest liberal whinefests; fascinating facts on the local celebrity, "Pepper"; facetious "Pro/Con" articles concerning the most asinine and ridiculous topics ever placed in print; and ALL the typographical, grammatical, and factual errors one publication could possibly hold.

After the departure of such journalistic maestros including Abe, Grey-Beard Loon, and Henry Wolf, the VicAd began its long downward spiral that continues to this day. The depression and sadness this caused for many especially affected my old friend Rusty and, I contend, played no small role in his last days. The demise of the VicAd  was a common topic of conversation between us, as well as Grey-Beard Loon and Pilot, and while I know that my friends and I would not have done things any other way, we still mourn the loss of a once fine publication with high journalistic standards and the huge hole created by the absence of such amazing writers once employed at the stately building at 311 E. Constitution.

Which is a long-winded way of saying, "Goodbye, my old Amblin' friend. You are not forgotten". A kind, bright, witty, and generous soul has departed, and the loss is felt. Too bad it won't be recognized by the local rag. How quickly they do forget.

Amble on, Rusty. And Godspeed.


Von Prien said...

A sad day indeed. Rusty-B had a great sense of humor and really called it like he saw it.
On the other hand, here's a little journalistic heaven, bear with me.

I can see Rusty at Heaven's favorite watering hole. The smoke and sheen as a back drop of some amazing writers as they gather to talk about old times, good times, and the demise of times.

Saint Peter serves them drink after drink, the stories spew from lips well into the night, such good stories too, oh how they remember the good times.

Rusty feels nature's call and asks Saint Peter where the restroom are.

The other writers snicker with glee, as seconds pass, Rusty passes through a door, then finds himself in the clouds.

It's all new to him, walking on the clouds with angels, shuffling his steps carefully while looking down. He finds himself perched on a ledge, looking down into a deep abyss with people at the bottom. Always a good journalist, never one to look before he leaps.

You get the picture.

Rusty walks back, opens the door and sticks his head out.

"Saint Peter, I was about to relieve myself, but there are people below. Something's not right. Am I in the right place?"

Saint Peter pauses in reflection, pouring a drink of single malt scotch, "Rusty, that's the Victoria Advocate Editorial Board meeting below that you see. Do what's right."

"Well, well . . . Saint Peter. pour me a pitcher of beer, and keep them coming. It's gonna be a long night.

The other writers raised their drinks and chorused in, "For he's a jolly good fellow . . . "

It was the best of times that first night in heaven.

The Loon said...

Abe was a funny guy with his own straight-on, wry take on the world, an outdoorsman and a great lover of nature, devoted to his family, a guy who'd go out of his way to help the world along, and a good friend. I'm sorry he's gone; it lessens us.

Pilot said...

Met Abe a coffee shop in Vic. Tim Delaney and Chelsey were was Tim Oi.....maybe Kelli - I forget. Abe was a character. Period. We kept up with the occasional e-mail or joke. He wasn't thankfully, the radical political type with an agenda. Just a sweet old grandpa type, with a penchant for hunting and for a eye for the occasional pretty girl that caught his attention. My dad bless his soul, would have hit it off with Rusty. My early association with the old guard at the Vicad, and the friends I made in those first two or three years before the crew bent on making it a social networking, sophomoric fustercluck took over, introduced me to a few of the most genuine, wonderful folks I could ever have hoped to have known. It brought out people I loved and had not heard from since computers existed only in science fiction. rest in peace Mr. Cochran.....I'll be along in a few years......meantime, I'll tell some stories and keep the faith.