Archive for June, 2007

28
Jun
07

Death is so Mysterious

It seems that the more actualized we become, the more proximate we are to death.

From the summer of ’03, when we began delivery of G2 Hellcats, until December 15, 2006, one gentleman created the nervous system of each machine. His name was Chris Roberts. He was gunned down Father’s Day in New Orleans by some punk stealing his bike.

Chris made the post-Katrina event transition from New Orleans to Birmingham. While in Alabama, he had a beautiful daughter. Father’s Day was his first as a father.

As I write, I hold his letter of resignation, dated December 6, 2006, in my hand. It declares that “after much difficult consideration, my family has made the decision to return to New Orleans on the 22nd of December for personal reasons.” He goes on, “I will always be proud to have been a part of something so exceptional.” Further, “I will gladly offer my services in whatever capacity I may.”

I had a bad feeling about this decision. Obviously, those feelings were justified.

Chris was a man I much admired. He possessed absolute courage. When he decided to act, he did so with full conviction. He invested 100% of his emotional being together with his cerebral and physical powers. He never failed to complete a delegated assignment on time, fully documented to specification. Chris avoided even the appearance of duplicity, hypocrisy or dishonesty. He never misled or deceived. It gives me immense satisfaction to write the following, to wit: Chris Roberts’ life personified transparent, honest, straight-forward truth.

Chris was a cool looking young man yet was entirely devoid of vanity. His tastes were simple. He was humble. He was smart. He methodically self-educated. He was emotionally intelligent. He possessed an open caring heart. He was non-judgmental. He enjoyed deep ideological and philosophical conversation. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved his daughter. He loved his girl.

About three weeks ago I called him and whined about Wraith wiring architecture. He dropped everything and came straight over. He stayed in the cheapest hotel, worked round the clock, did his usual exemplary work and made his usual minimal consideration request of about 2/3s of what his efforts were worth.

Late one afternoon we had a chance to catch up. Chris told me about a euphoric moment of extreme glee which he had very recently experienced while completing his daily assignments at his New Orleans job. With great vividity, Chris illuminated the heightened sense of extreme happiness which both overcame and overwhelmed him on the evening in question. He spoke with heartfelt passion about the depth of his love for his daughters and his girl. He declared that being back home in New Orleans with his beloved family gave him fulfillment and an overall sense of actualization beyond his hopes and dreams. Next, Chris declared, that for an inkling it occurred to him that it was all too good to be true.

Chris, writing for your present and your past Confederate teammates, we love ya. We’re going to win a land speed record this fall in your honor. We will never forget the last time some punk in New Orleans shot you; you dressed the wound yourself and came to work the very next day!

Chris Roberts; Well Done!
The Times Picayune article from Friday, June 29 2007

(Chris reminded us of the young guy in this infamous photo)