How ya been? I been going here. I went to my friend’s viewing yesterday but I didn’t get to go to the funeral today because of work. He didn’t look good at all. They had to put a lot of makeup on his face and hands to hide the scares. He wore a death metal concert t-shirt & hat, like he always wore. He also had on the green jeans he liked so much. I found out what happened. Rob and a guy named Ronnie were drunk and stoned driving down a road and went around a corner and hit a telephone pole. Ronnie was driving and didn’t get hurt but from what I understand Rob went clear though the windshield. He had been in a coma for 4 days when they decided to pull the plug.
Ronnie showed up when I was sitting in one of the pews. I didn’t know he was the one driving at the time. He walked in very slowly with a look of total disgrace and guilt. He walked up to the casket where Rob laid and screamed “Oh my God,” as his eyes filled with tears and his hands quickly covered his face, he turned away into his mothers arms. He sat down as his friends and loved ones gathered around him hoping to do something to ease his suffering.
Many times before I had looked upon Ronnie in a shadow of arrogance. I had never been fond of him nor had I felt any respect or friendship towards him. This was the first time I saw Ronnie as a person.
He jumped out of his seat and walked up to the casket one last time and then turned away into a fast paced walk until he was outside, where he sat down on the curb and wept. I left to pick up a friend and when I later return he was gone.
When I came back my friend Terri had showed up. She got to know Rob pretty well from as many times as he came in her record store. She had just had a friend die 3 weeks ago. She took us to a place called Captains Rock (my friend April hitched a ride with me). We walked around some cool trails and got a chance to talk about Rob.
It wasn’t what he did for people that made him well liked. Actually he was a goof off that love to get attention and love to party and he especially loved his friends. Perhaps he wasn’t as well respected by his friends as he hoped he would be, but he never complained and took everything very well. You see he was the type of person that was always happy. I can only remember seeing him sad one time, but when I asked him if he was okay he immediately put on his big sloppy grin and did his magic where he made you feel good. I guess he was just thinking. Everybody does that sometimes. I never knew his family or where he lived or anything. We were not that close. We used to party and drink together. That’s all. We were always cool to each other. So why did his death have such a strong effect on me? Maybe its because he was a good person, and good people don’t deserve to die like that. They deserve to live a long time. His part in life was making people happy. Perhaps his job was done in this life and it was time to move on. I don’t know if I’ll ever know for sure. I’ll just remember his as he was, a big, sloppy, happy person,
Robert Michael Hartford 1975-1995.