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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Joel Dyke, RIP

Rest in peace actually sounds wrong to me, Joel as far as I could tell wasn't that into resting. Actually, there's nothing about this that sounds even vaguely right to me.

I met Joel right around the time I met my wife. She'd said she was planning to go to Friz on Monday evening, and wasn't sure she was interested but she was interesting, so I went. Joel and his wife Michelle are a fixture at Friz.

They're also the heart and soul of Kansas City's Trashboat Regatta. Some years, in fact, they have been the whole regatta.

It's a cliché to say he was such a nice guy, I know lots of people I'd say that about if I found out they'd suddenly died. But I can think of at least that one instance where they were a total dick to someone, except with Joel I can't. I literally can't think of a single instance when he was anything but sweet to people.

Even when he'd twist my nipple as a way of saying howdy, which was truly painful and I didn't dig it, he did it out of friendship, I always knew that. It's hard for me to believe I won't have to defend myself against his fiendish advances ever again.

If you don't know Joel, that last bit might seem disrespectful, but I know he never would have twisted the nipple of a man he didn't like.

I've been going through old photos looking for shots of him, and to my surprise I'm having trouble finding him flipping the bird finger, which was sometimes his way of smiling and saying cheese when I'd shove a camera in his face. Again, if you didn't know Joel, that sounds wrong but really, he had a beautiful middle finger and great comedic timing.

Okay, I'm lying a little bit. I found this one of him right before he retracted the non-message-bearing digits, but the shots of him flipping me off are blurry and not really up to Lobsterland photography standards.

I broke a spoke on the way home one night and stopped at his house to see if I could borrow a 700C wheel for a day or two. A bike mechanic/bike nerd of the first order, and he lived on the way home for me. Instead of loaning me a wheel, he whipped out his truing stand and repaired my wheel on the spot.

I went by his house after hearing of his passing on Facebook. I didn't really think it was possible that he could be dead, that's the sort of thing Joel would just shake off, right?

I'd just come out of a seeing the latest Hobbit movie, and I was seeing people talk about his passing on Facebook. My first thought was that it was a joke in terrible taste, but Zeke, Jones, the guys who were sharing this information, they don't seem the type to make a joke that bad. Maybe one or two degrees from it, but not that.

And you always want to offer help, but what help is there to offer? In my case, being a designer in a print shop, actually there is something, funeral programs, I can do that. I went by the house to offer that, make sure Michelle had good contact info to reach me if she wanted that or any other help I could deliver. But mainly I wanted Joel to answer the door and explain that he was the victim of some horrible practical joke.

Unfortunately, no, and that's a damn shame. The Big Grin is gone, impossible as that seems.


Doug Novy said...

You said it perfectly.

Keith G said...

Agreed - well said. He'll indeed be missed.

One Eyed z said...

I was waiting for it to just be a bad joke as well.

JS said...

Thanks. Perfect.