I had a pretty decent Monday Musings planned for tonight: the weather this past weekend was outstanding so Missy, the girls, and I spent almost all of it outdoors. We also had a late night bonfire with friends on Saturday after we put the girls down…a long overdue first of the season.
Then I got a call this morning that never in my darkest dreams could have ever imagined getting: my friend and college roommate John Streetman was killed in a motorcycle accident yesterday evening just outside of Las Vegas.
These are my college roommates…all five of us…and that’s John Streetman…the one in the middle with his hulk of a forearm draped over the guy on the left. I can easily knock out a 1,500-word-post about the most insignificant details in our mundane midwest life, but right now I’m at an utter loss.
Would it be ok if I just post a few pictures that I have of him from our VMI days?
It’s safe to say that I have special bond with all of my classmates simply because VMI isn’t your typical school. Not everyone has gone through the same things we have. But the term roommate must be taken literally when talking about VMI roomies.
There was five of us in a room no bigger than most master bedrooms you see these days and we were ALWAYS together whether we wanted to be or not; we rolled and folded our beds up every morning and stacked them against the wall; we watched movies and played video games, ate meals together and even occasionally studied. But…there was no way to be in the room without the others knowing about it because it was simply that: a room. So to say John was just a roommate is semi-misleading. Classmate, roommate, best friend, Marine through-and-through. Brother rat.
Oh, he also lead the charge in shaving my head on my 21st birthday (a VMI tradish):
Then gladly celebrated with me after Missy gave me the shock of a lifetime by flying all the way out from Iowa just to serve me my first beer:
And yes, then the rest of ’em decided to shave their heads too 😉
John came out to Iowa for our wedding, but I only have a few pictures of that…our wedding pics were taken with a film camera, not with a new fangled “digital” one. (Actually, there is a CD floating around somewhere with all our digitized wedding photos…if only we could find it.)
I love how he looks like our secret service agent/body guard in that first one 😉
And that’s just it. He practically was. He’d do anything you’d ask of him, no matter what the sacrifice he had to make for it. He was always the “protector” of Missy and the other roommates’ girlfriends when they came to visit us in the sea of college-aged boys at VMI. A scary dude if you crossed him wrong, but he had a heart the size of Texas and it showed every day.
Sadly, I had lost touch with John these past few years. He commissioned into the Marine Corps, then moved to Las Vegas after that. Then…life happened. I lost touch. I thought that I could just pick up the phone and call or text next weekend when I would have more time. But I never had more time…or made time…and blew it off until the following weekend.
Until I simply forgot about it, thinking that we’ll just catch up at the next reunion over a few beers and pick up where we left off…just like old friends do.
John, you will never be forgotten…and you will always be missed.
Love you, brother.