March 3rd, 2005

Something changed today. Something’s different.

I lost someone close to me. A good friend, a mentor, a therapist, a business partner and an all-around eccentric (in the best of ways). HB was forever young, with an outlook on life that i could only hope for as i get older. Most knew of him by another moniker in a specific industry, but his roots reached far and wide, with him achieving amazing success in other facets of his career. He was quite literally a Renissance Man. He had his hand in a bit of everything and juggled his responsibilities with aplomb. HB was impressive in business, but what set him apart from his contemporaries was the fact that he had an incredibly huge heart and loved without reservation.

In speaking to him just a little under a week ago, i am now incredibly humbled by the thought of death. Quite literally, in two seconds this morning, everything changed and things are never going to be the same again. His family & friends will find ways to cope, yes, but his effect on us will always be there… Lingering. The sound of his laughter. The smooth, almost melodic tone to his well-tuned voice. The way he talked to complete strangers and suddenly found a friend he never knew he had. His charisma and charm were unmatched.

I remember the last time we saw eachother in Las Vegas: We were both bitching about the Mandalay Bay and how terrible things had gotten there, to the point of Mandalay mistreating him and ultimately losing his business. In a flash, he’d gone from grumbling about the hotel to simply letting it go and being all smiles. That’s what was so amazing about HB~ He could easily let things roll off his back, shrug off a bad vibe and happily rearrange his day. It’s an important trait he taught me. In his own words: ‘Don’t let the bastards get ya’ down!’

A classic HB line… :)

While it’d be an understandable move to sit here and cry over my keyboard, i know he wouldn’t want that from me (or anyone). He’d say ‘go out there and make your mark.’ He was a guy who was totally about taking life by the horns and living it to the fullest, but he was also an admitted workaholic. HB lived for his work. It was unfortunate that he recieved so much criticism (in the form of email) for simply trying to put something out there to help people. He was practically a two-man show when it came to running things, so there were many times when he’d recieve loads of disgruntled emails from guys whining about their submissions. He put an incredibly informative site on the web for free, kept it that way, and people still had the brass balls to complain. That is bullshit. Plain and simple.

I sit at my machine and dozens of memories come flooding back to me… Great memories indeed, but it’s tough to sift through and say which would be my favorite. In lieu of picking a particular thought, i will simply say that spending time with HB was like coming home. It’s a total feeling of comfort, trust and friendship. He was definitely someone i loved.

I always will.

I know you’d never want or admit to it M, but you’ve left behind a legacy. Those who know you, the REAL you, will never forget your wonderfully infectious spirit. I’m going to miss you kiddo. I already do.

BN

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