Goodbye, Josh

This picture came up in our memories yesterday.

This was Josh vanMarle and he was our friend. We hadn’t heard from him for a long time when he emailed us and asked for a shirt. It had been so long I didn’t even recognize his name at first, which still makes me cringe. And so I mailed him one and he did this cool bleaching trick with it and sent us pictures.

Josh was our friend in Tucson. He was a good guy, who always looked out for people and always had something funny to say. He was a welder and he was proud of it. He wore his welding apron everywhere, no exaggeration. He once tubed down the Salt River with us and wore it the whole way. No, he didn’t sink. Yes, he was the slowest tube, but he did it his way. He always did it his way.

We heard a couple of months ago he was getting things together and moving back to Arizona.
He’d followed some interesting roads, but was ready to return. We were happy for him.

Then we heard a few weeks later that he had a stroke at home and died.

So when this picture came up in our memories yesterday, I’m not going to lie, I cried. A lot.

And then we decided the least we could do is post these again and send out one last hurrah for Josh.

So all you pinball people out there, all you friends and colleagues and customers, send out a good thought for a good guy, if you’re so inclined.
And hold those you love a little closer and a little longer.

They tell you as a writer to never use the word unique. It’s overused and inaccurate. After all, there’s nothing in the world that truly is one of a kind.
But, Josh, you were a hell of an exception to this rule. You were unique and we were all the better for it. I know in my heart there’s no one out there like you.

Until we meet again, Buddy. Rest in peace.