I was very saddened to learn today that an old buddy of mine had passed away last November without me even knowing about it. Here's an old memory that reminds me of the crazy and fun stuff we used to do together.
When we were living together at the SAE fraternity at Stanford, I bet Steve that he wouldn't dare to drive his VW beetle down a steep muddy hill next to the fraternity house. He accepted the challenge, and I sat next to him smoking my pipe as we courageously went over the edge. Unfortunately, half way down the hill, we went into a skid and slid uncontrollably head on into a thick tree, stuck at a forty-five degree angle. Steve shifted into reverse and attempted to back away from this predicament, but that was impossible and a tow truck had to be called. His favorite vehicle was damaged: the gear box burned out and a huge dent in the front fender. I expected Steve to be very angry at me, but he remained perfectly collected, even commenting calmly about how funny it all was. I felt really stupid and guilty about making him pull such a ridiculous stunt, and insisted on paying for the damages. However, being the great guy that Steve always was, he took it all in stride and paid the garage bill himself.
Good-bye old friend, we will all miss you. You got into medical school and I didn't. Now you beat me to the pearly gates, enjoy.