Red Dog and I lost one of the best last Friday. Not just a friend but that special kind of person whose genuine love for his fellow man shone in everything he did. The person who bucked convention in search of what made him truly happy, a trait that should be lauded more often than not. I’ve attached two things here and I hope you’ll read them both. One is his obituary. The other is something I wrote in honor of him and many of our common friends, Red Dog included. How does this remotely tie to an F3 BB you may ask? Well, you all each encompass part of what made him my friend. Whether it’s love for sport, nature, music, God, fellow man, a good-natured jab. You all mean so much to me in immeasurable ways and I’m so thankful to be a part of this group. Aye!

To Ben:
Baseball on the Boys Club Yankees when we were 10. Tapeball in Criswell Lappin’s front yard with Stewart Bryan, Will Jinnette, Christopher Carroll Potts, & Wag Daddy. Tons of frisbee & soccer in the back lot. Go karts with Mark Cherry & John Humphries. Football at the Quaker Church. Helping your folks at Christmas time in the tree farm. Troop 6 camping trips at “Meador’s Pond” with Travis Pate, William Kesler, Scott Chitty, & most of those mentioned above. Shooting bottle rockets in the Topsail dunes. Tons of live music. Visiting you in Boone for ASU Homecoming in fall of ’96. We rode around town in your Trooper listening to “Tales from the Acoustic Planet” by Bela Fleck and my life changed. I made you play “Up and Running” over & over. We left the football game early that Saturday, went back to your apartment at Plymouth Trace, watched Empire Strikes Back & a Braves game. Lighting many a fire and playing pool with Todd Eason, Brian Vinson, Allen York, Josh Hammond, & Bryan Youngs in your Dad’s barn. Visiting you in Jackson, Wyoming in early Spring 2000 with Thomas Ryan. Slept on your floor for a week, saw Karl Denson at the Moose, drank lots of great beer, and saw mountains with beauty I had never before seen. Running into you randomly at Merlefest during a Del McCoury set. Taj Mahal at the NC Museum of Art with Thomas Barnes. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend trying to make myself cry over your loss. I can’t. I have too many wonderful memories with you that I can carry with me, and I thank you immensely Ben Privott for being my friend.