Farewell David

Frank and I are beyond sad and shocked to have to announce the death this morning of our longtime housemate David Garms. (This is not about me, and apologies there are so many “I”‘s in here, but I canNOT believe I’m writing this.) David was 50. This was an unexpected sucker punch. And so I’m writing at length from a broken heart about him and his role in our lives.

David and I (and Frank from 2000) had been apartment/housemates for 24 years, since we met in 1994 in Dallas, when he was tired of homeownership in Carrollton and I needed to leave Oklahoma but wasn’t really in a position to pay big city rent on my own. We had shared apartments in Plano and San Francisco and the townhouse in Ann Arbor and the houses in Brentwood and Nashville. He had been here with us since 2009.

Most importantly, he was one of our best friends. We sometimes got on like a house afire. The two of us and then the three of us occasionally drove each other crazy. But somehow it seemed to just work out. He supported us, we supported him. I couldn’t balance a checkbook, he couldn’t mow a lawn. It worked.

In October 1994, I talked him into driving down to Kemp, Texas, out in the country, and picking out a seven-week-old beagle puppy. David is the one who picked his name, Bayley Murphey Beagle. Our history with hounds began with David and Bayley.

The hounds, including those we’ve lost, Bayley, Feargal and Fred, loved their Unca David. Fergus has been his shadow. Like us, they drove him nuts sometimes, but he adored and loved and spoiled them as much as we do. One of the last things he ever did was to order them a big ol’ box full of bags of Blue Dog Bakery biscuits, along with a bunch of Pill Pouches so Bosco would take his pain meds. It’s gonna hurt to get that delivery.

He was very private and kept things “very close to his vest.” I’m pretty sure he would not want me to write what I’ve just put down. Don’t care; needs to be done.

He worked from home for Wells Fargo account security/fraud protection. I usually do my sleeping between 7ish and noonish to 2ish. Ish. It kept me from bothering him while he conferenced and kept the dogs up there so their barking at squirrels wouldn’t be heard from Charlotte to San Francisco.

Today I came downstairs and helped Sascha outside, then brought some stuff down to the laundry room next to David’s room. I rounded the corner and saw his feet in his doorway. Piecing loose ends together and from what his coworker told me, we think he got up at 6 a.m., sent a work e-mail at 7:01, then was online with work until 8. He then appears to have gone to shower and dress for a conference call at 9, but never called in. I found him lying on his bedroom floor at 12:20. It does not appear he fell. He looked asleep at first. While I was CPR-trained for teaching, I had no idea he was in trouble. I yelled his name and felt for a pulse but nothing. While 911 was ready to help and first response was enroute, I pretty much knew I was too late. That will haunt the rest of my life.

I tell this long story for this purpose: Not the usual tell your loved ones you love them thing, he knew all that. No, I share it because we’ve begged him to go to a doctor for a checkup for at least the last three years. The last time he had seen a doctor? May 1997. Almost 21 years. I now wish I had handcuffed him to the Jeep and driven him to our primary care. I usually nagged him to do things that he needed to get done. I wasn’t successful on this one and it’s too late.

Yes, tell your loved ones you love them, hug ‘em hard, etc., etc. But sometimes … you need to be a bully and aggressively advocate for their needs … to them OR for them. There were issues and warning signs, but for reasons of his own I’ll keep to myself, he refused.

Frank got here within 30 minutes, but the dogs were barricaded outside for three hours while the police/detectives/medical examiner processed the scene. They are stressed and feeling it. We’re pretty sure Fergus beagle was in there on David’s bed when it happened, that was his usual thing, to spend hours sleeping while Unca David worked. Fergus seemed stressed and was shaking this evening. He seems fine now. We’re going to miss David terribly and this upends our lives beyond what we can even process. We were getting prepared for losing Bosco (who is still hanging in there as tough as can be), but we were not prepared for something of this magnitude. Not even close.

All of our friends have been beyond supportive of us and we appreciate that so much. Our neighbors were here hugging me within minutes and they’re planning food deliveries already. Carol Miller Stewart … superwoman. Also here within a half hour and held my hand with all the details and funeral home stuff. Beyond grateful.

But please also extend thoughts and prayers to David’s mother, Rosemary Garms, who last week, while on the phone with David, fell and broke her hip and is hospitalized in Hood River, Oregon. David was her baby, the youngest of her three sons. His father Carl died a few years ago of cancer. She and David talked pretty much every day for hours. His middle brother Steve will be here from Oregon in the next day or so. He too is devastated and has his hands really full. And David’s oldest brother Allan, in Dallas, had a similar heart attack six years ago, also at age 50; his wife happened to be in bed with him when he began having issues and she got the chance to keep Allan alive with CPR until help arrived. So your support for us is wonderful, but please add all of David’s family … they are very close and really hit every bit as hard as us.

I’m numb and scatterbrained. I’m also never at a loss for words and that’s why I’m rambling on. The writer in me just goes on autopilot. So apologies for the length if you’re still reading. And thank you.

My god, David … one of my four “brothers from other mothers” along with Stan Bedford and Jay McGinnis and Tim Cronian! We’re gutted. We love you so much and are very grateful for all you did for us. Rest easy and hug Bayley and Feargal and Fred for us!

[And thank you each and every one of you. Your love and support comes through and helps us all. It is greatly appreciated. I wish I could hug all of you.]

Same Here

There’s this thing that has been closely guarded for going on 40 years in 2018. It’s my secret. So as it hits its 40th birthday in our new year, I decided it’s time to tell the world.


In Which I Join in on a Hashtag, God Help Me!

There’s this thing that has been closely guarded for going on 40 years in 2018. It’s my secret. So as it hits its 40th birthday in our new year, I decided it’s time to tell the world.

#MeToo.

There. It’s out. More is coming.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Mihai Surdu via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 10-Nov-17

Peckerwoods!

What we learned this week:

• Comedian Louis CK and Crusading Crazy Ass Roy Moore were accepted into that venerable old boy’s club, that newly-open-to-didlers-from-outside-the-church institution, The Ancient and Venerable Order of Priests Expecting Complete, Knightly Exoneration; Rewarded With Oodles Of Dancing Students (a.k.a. “P.E.C.K.E.R.W.O.O.D.S.”) Golf and Country Club. Greeting them at the door was the Ancient and Venerable Third Assistant Vice President Clarence Thomas, who treated the new initiates to pubic hair-laced Coke cans and asked Roy Moore if Moore was interested in buying him, because living conditions in “free” Washington D.C., are highly overrated.

• Corey Feldman is still alive. And also Corey Feldman knows lots of Hollywood people who will be applying for membership at Peckerwoods G&CC very soon. This has Corey quite frightened.

• 150-year-old former presidents need help to take a piss, but are still able to feel up female reporters and tell them dirty jokes, both of which are done in front of former First Ladies.

• White gay men are no longer welcome in the gay rights movement because the whiteness of their skin means they are privileged, cisgendered and non-intersectional. Henceforward, when we’re getting the shit beaten out of us at school; can’t afford college; get harassed or beaten or shot by the police for kissing our boyfriends in public parks; gulp down the handful of toxic drugs we fought to get in the 90s while watching our mothers scour the kitchen sink after getting a glass of water lest God’s disapproval in the form of the AIDS plague will be visited on her house and infect her innocent grandchildren; spending the 54th year of life with our families berating us for our lifestyle choice and allowing demons to inhabit our bodies; well, we cannot possibly have any contribution or role in the LGBTQ community. Because our skin color is white. And that means we cannot participate, question, discuss, converse and sure as hell can’t culturally appropriate anything from anybody. No alliances with us are welcome. No matter how many suicide attempts we committed during our teen years because we are total fags, it counts for nothing. You must be black, female, lesbian, transgendered before you are allowed to participate in efforts to secure civil rights for LGBTQ, etc. Your skin color is white, so you must be a white supremacist Nazi dedicated to keeping people of color down. “Intersectionality is a bitch, white boys; paybacks are hell and Karma gonna bite you in your lily white highly privileged asses.”

• That Kathy Griffin is a bit off her nut though, isn’t she?

• John Hillerman is dead at 84. Yet, Justin Bieber and Joel Osteen still walk the earth. Osteen’s Mercedes-bestowing god sure has a wicked sense of humor.

• There seems to have been some baseball played. Something about a World Series won by perennially losers the Houston Astros. We wouldn’t know, we weren’t paying attention.

• New England Patriots player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s brain was dissected and shown to be the worst case of NFL of the brain ever recorded. Oh, this just in, it was CTE of the brain. We regret (not) the error.

• O.J. Simpson will continue to haunt our lives even if he actually dies. This week: Tossed out of the Cosmopolitan in Vegas for being … the only intoxicated person in the casino. The Juice owes the Cosmo a favor; that place is a cesspool of skeezy. Getting banned from it for life probably will save his life (or perhaps a few courses of penicillin). We were at the Vdara/Cosmo complex in 2014. The swimming pool still gives me nightmares. And hives.

• They’re remaking/updating/relaunching a lot of old 90s TV series for no apparent reason than, like the Simpsons, the creative well in Hollywood dried up decades ago, probably about the time Carol Burnett packed it in on her variety show, which was was always packed with incredible talent. A Roseanne reboot and a Will and Grace reboot we did not need. Also, The Simpsons must die; each episode is worse than the previous, a race to a bottom we cannot make out but we know it’s there. Family Guy is suffering while its creator is buzzing around the universe, so it’s probably also time that James Woods whips out his AR-15 and ends the show’s life for good and all as well. Bobs Burgers is still reasonably fresh, but it may be peaking now. (And by the way, just ’cause I’m a white faggot does NOT mean I should have to watch the Will and Grace reboot. My intersectionality about class, wealth, New York City snobbery and poor body image means this show deeply oppresses me, even if it may have influenced some people decide not to shoot our faggoty white asses when we got legally married by the U.S. Supreme Court. Whatever may be, I’d still prefer old Lucy Show episodes to most of this dreck.

• Tuesday’s election seemed to be a case of buyer’s remorse, wherein the guy who bought a pink Ford Fiesta with the undercoating package and Scotch-guarded seats wakes up after a long nightmare and wants to toss the Pink Fiesta off the nearest cliff, but knows there’s just no way that’s going to happen. So instead, he settles for going to the nearest Ben and Jerry’s and consuming 23 different punny flavors, coincidentally imbibing enough “RoundUp” (TM) to shrivel his gonads to the size of B.B.s And while waiting for his blood glucose numbers to fall below 1000, stares at the Pink Fiesta and thinks, “I hate this fucking century and this fucking country and powerful people who diddle powerless people and get away with it. Every. Single. Time.” And then, feeling better and on the way home, the wheels on his pink Fiesta fall off for the 45th time that week.

• Speaking of Pink Fiestas, the anniversary of Trump’s ascendance to power is appropriately the same as Kristallnacht and the infamous “Stab in the Back,” whereby leftists and Jews back home knifed German troops on the Western Front in the back just right when they were about to end the whole damn war victoriously, causing the Kaiser to abdicate and the nation to find itself in need of rescuing by an Austrian corporal named Adolf Hitler. Putting the facetiousness aside for a moment, the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht should be looked upon as an abject lesson about what happens when you allow hate, ignorance, false equivalency, and frat boy snark mindsets to take over entire countries. But that would require Americans to actually absorb reality and study history, two things we are adamantly refusing to do at this moment. Gott Strafe Amerika! And he’ll do it too.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Dawn Armfield via Unsplash.]

The Final Passing of American Journalism

“And that’s the way it is …”

Walter Cronkite

It feels as if the last bit of actual journalism in America is now dead.

In «What We Lose With Cronkite’s Death», Bruce Maiman sums it up pretty well:

“… it’s a reminder, too, that the broadcasting style and journalistic credibility that Cronkite represents also seems to be fading into history. Cronkite’s death was inevitable rather than sad, but what is sad is that no one has picked up his mantle to deliver the news in a fashion that doesn’t glorify something or someone, or trash something or someone. Cronkite set a standard for conveying the news that was at once warm, measured, dignified, good humored and uncompromising.”

He also notes one of my favorite stories about Cronkite:

&#8220In her autobiography, «A Desperate Passion», physician and Nuclear Freeze activist Helen Caldicott tells the story of when she met Cronkite and his wife Betsy at a dinner one night: “Walter amazed me by saying that if he had his way, he would remove all U.S. nuclear weapons from Europe. “What would the Russians do then, roll over people with their tanks?” he asked. I said: “The American people love you, Walter. Why don’t you tell them that?” He laughed and replied, “I’m only loved because they don’t know what I think.””

The ever-excellent Glenn Greenwald, writing in Salon, touches on all of this in «Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did»:

“Tellingly, his most celebrated and significant moment — Greg Mitchell says “this broadcast would help save many thousands of lives, U.S. and Vietnamese, perhaps even a million” — was when he stood up and announced that Americans shouldn’t trust the statements being made about the war by the U.S. Government and military, and that the specific claims they were making were almost certainly false. In other words, Cronkite’s best moment was when he did exactly that which the modern journalist today insists they must not ever do — directly contradict claims from government and military officials and suggest that such claims should not be believed. These days, our leading media outlets won’t even use words that are disapproved of by the Government.”

Cronkite, and the pathetic remains of American journalism, will be laid to rest on Thursday.

And THAT, my friends, is the way it is, on this Sunday, 20-Jul-09, the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing.

And Then There Was Maude …

Sad news today: «Bea Arthur passed away at 86 from cancer»:

‘Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was 86. Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, Watt said, declining to give details.

‘Maude” scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977. The comedy flowed from Maude’s efforts to cast off the traditional restraints that women faced, but the series often had a serious base. Her husband Walter (Bill Macy) became an alcoholic, and she underwent an abortion, which drew a torrent of viewer protests. Maude became a standard bearer for the growing feminist movement in America.’

We are diminished by her loss. RIP.

Farewell, Pookus.

BayleyChewingABone

Bayley Murphey Beagle
20-Aug-1994 — 2-Mar-2007

Dear Bayley Murphey,

Thank you for being such a wonderful and good dog, a loving companion, for keeping us sane, for loving us unconditionally, for being such an incredibly important part of our lives for 12-and-a-half years. Thank you for putting up with all the picture-taking, ear rubbing, nail clipping, bathing, teefs-brushing and hugs and kisses. Thank you for curling up against us on cold, winter nights. Thank you being the touchstone of our lives. Thank you for being you.

We tried hard to give you a good life, full of all the things that good dogs such as you deserve. From the time of your puppyhood until today, you tried so hard to be good and please us, and you always did. We are richer for having had you in our lives, much, much poorer for your passing. Your suffering is over, now it’s time to run baying through the fields, chasing rabbits, rolling in squirrel pee, and lying under a tree gnawing a never-ending supply of beagle bagels.

Rest and sleep well, pookus. You leave a very large hole in our hearts and our lives.

Love,
Dad, Unca Frankie, and Unca David.