Tag Archive: Rodney Irvin


        One year ago, my favorite bartender , Laurien, through my then nightclub manager, Lacey, let me know that my best Nashville friend, Rodney Irvin, who I dubbed (and he accepted) “Roddawg”, had suddenly passed away at the mere age of forty-five. 

He was more than my ticket guy (assistant manager) at the Schermahorn Symphony and other events, he was a true friend from  the night at Applebees when he introduced himself and where we used to hang on those lonely days after I first moved here and was given the bum’s rush by an idiot employer.  He used to listen to me on the radio, and enjoyed R&B music seemingly much more than I, “for a white guy” lol  

The only disagreement we ever had was over Barry Bonds and whether he used “steroids” or not back in 2005 or so, at Applebees one evening.  I didn’t want to dignify the allegations, while wanting to give “the Brother” the benefit of the doubt, while Roddawg was adamant that Bonds “cheated” – even though as a St. Louis Cardinal fan, I don’t remember Rodney demeaning his “boye” Mark McGuire, or Chicago Cub Sammy Sosa with the same fervor – maybe that was why I didn’t want to discuss the divisive matter with him.  I brushed him off as he left “Apples”  that night, because he kept insisting Bonds was “guilty”, and figured it was just another “because he is black” instance. Here is Bonds, the Pittsburgh Pirate, probably after popping-up, as usual back then:

Well now with Bonds, convicted on one count of “obstructing justice”, the jury “hung” on the perjury and other more serious counts, I suppose we can move on to better uses of the judicial system.  So as I washed my dishes after dinner tonight, I said, “Are you satisfied now?” to Rodney, posthumously and with a smile.

In my heart-of-hearts, I don’t care about which baseballer of that era used the chemicals of the hour to try to enhance his stroke.  I think that every era has its perceived “magic pill”.  From Babe Ruth and beer to Reggie Jackson’s day and whatever hallucinogenic they did in the 1970s.  I just hope that Roger Clemens gets tagged with something now, otherwise the “great white baseball rocket hope” will live in denial the rest of his days. 

Roddawg, I still do not know the cause of your demise or why you suddenly died, and am still trying to make sense of it all. Sometimes I wish I could trade places with you.  After all, you had a lovely wife and the perfect American family with two kids, a boy and a girl.  I wonder why I am left here to struggle and try to still figure it all out, when you seemingly “had it all”?  I wish you were still around to know that I finally found my soul-mate, Nina, and plan to travel overseas.  I guess what I am trying to express is that while there are no Icelandic volcanoes spewing ash clouds this spring, the Earth is quaking and humans are still mistaking while I and others who knew you still miss you and “the Garagemahal” on many occasions. Why In The World Am I Here?

 Therefore, I want to tell you that, in a way, you were right about Barry Bonds, as with some other issues we tried to answer – and as usual I was correct too; so we’d toast a “beverage” or two and agree even though originally we disagreed.  I love you, ‘Bro…my “brotha from anotha mutha…” lol

Another major cloud has cast itself upon my sky: Have you ever had a friend, who though many years younger than you,  who became kind of integral to your life suddenly freakin’ DIE? And in the wake of that event, have you said to yourself, “I’d have gladly given MY life so that he/she could keep living because they seemingly had it “all together” ?  Making you wonder what is it about our “lives” that make them so random at the end of the day?  Well, this weekend I just had that experience again, I’m sad to say.  Sad…Hmmm, because this guy was such a happy friend to all who had the pleasure of making his acquaintance and personally one of my guardian angels.  He would call me on the tele, or I’d be visiting him at his famous home sportsbar ‘The Garagemahal” , mentioning  that I was on my way to buy [whatever it was at the moment], and Rodney would say, “Dude! I got plenty of________, come’ere, TAKE ONE!” and I’m like are your SURE??” several times…but that is how he was, and he never wanted to refuse a request or an opportunity to help a friend out.  He even wanted to hook my former g/f up with concert tickets after she dumped me! LOL (A true friend calls you to ask permission to grant a favor like that, and I vetoed that bill, “just because”)  Had some psychic reader predicted that one of the ‘”top five” things that would happen in the first six months of 2010 would be that Rodney would die, I’d have said “GTFOH!”

The weather is cloudy again today here as I write these words- appropriately – after about three weeks of nonstop sunshine and June-like weather,  it fits my “mood” of mourning on this, the day of his funeral.  Such an outpouring last night after the wake at his house where he leaves a wonderful wife, an twelve-year-old son, and seven year-old daughter.  I always thought that was the way I wanted my family to be back when I was thinking about such things in my future.  Oh, and by the way, Roddawg was twelve years younger than I – making it even more difficult to fathom the randomness of our existences here on this volatile Earth.

one of best friends a guy can ever want

Billy Joel sang: ‘Only The Good Die Young”, and again I say, “how true.” . This,  juxtaposed against this boiling caldron upon which we live, the Earth, and its recent quaking, shaking, blowing and now spitting up clouds from Iceland that have halted airplane traffic for a significant part of the Earth –  and you know the “economic repercussions” will now follow if that keeps up much longer.

It is another back to basics moment for the commerce industry.  ” May they have to go back to transoceanic boats to ship our goods and (more dreaded) have to WAIT longer for stuff to arrive??”  OMG!!  it is another “reality check” for me the mere mortal that gets to survive to tryand figure it out for another day.

It is like the planet under us is “friending” us in order to let us know she is not happy with the way things are going, and she is now going to take over and possibly end our collective nightmare.  Right…no such luck…we will continue to endure the “slow death” in most cases, but it might solve a lot of the petty shit that we give too much attention to, and give the needed “reality check” on our existences. Which takes me back to my friend, Rodney Irvin’s,  sudden death (just the way he would have liked a Pittsburgh Steeler game to end – them winning of course!LOL).  Here I am a bachelor just struggling to get by, and this cat, who seemingly “had it all going for him”, taken away all together too soon.  Where is the logic herein, please? Today I am not motivated to go on, except to eulogize him herein this place – my worldwide web diary.  I know you “feel” me, right? This post is dedicated to Rodney,who was the first person ever to introduce/describe me as “DJ” , the huge St. Louis Cardinal and Pittsburgh Steeler fan who coined the phrase about my beloved New York Jets, “J-E-T-S means Just End The Season, Dawg! LOL’ another OMG    I only knew him for eight years, but it seems like I always knew him and only brought very special people by to his house (dates that is).  Always with a clever, funny story or anecdote of wisdom that belied his years, Roddawg was a class act, and I wish you who read this to experience a friend such as this in your lives and that you live to grow old together and share stories as the microscopic volcanic ash circumnavigates the skies of our globe and precipitously falls upon us, and this post is an example of the wide-ranging conversations that Roddawg and I had, I guess – from sports to current events, we settled the world as best we could and agreed upon it 99% of the time in spite of sometimes coming at issues from possibly opposite ends of the spectrum.  A magnanimous act all the way.  Maybe the ash can turn into the dust of an angel.

– And now, in the words of Rodney, “lets go have a ‘beverage’!”

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