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Here's a story about someone I remember mostly because of an old Black Sabbath song.

When I was a junior at Archbishop Wood HS for Boys, which was in 1982/83, I had a religion teacher (a priest) who had us bring in a song that really meant something to us. I brought in Wheels of Confusion (Vol. 4), which I edited down to a much shorter version (taking out most of the soloing). Most people didn't like it and sighed through it but one other kid liked it, and he had brought in a Sabbath tune himself.

His name was Dave Whelan, and he brought in Die Young (Heaven and Hell), and he explained that he felt that the song intended the listener to try to make the most out of life, to remain young and therefore be 'young' when you die. After the class, although he never spoke to me on any other occasion, he did say to me "Good song, Furnish."

After I finished my first degree in college - January 1989, this was - I called I guy I'd known in HS named Rick. I asked him how people were, and he gave me a rundown on everybody we'd known. One of these people was Dave Whelan, who unfortunately had indeed Died Young.

A few years after we'd graduated HS together in '84, he was riding back from Mexico with friends, and he was in the back of a pickup truck. A drunk driver sideswiped them, knocking Dave out of the back of the pickup, and he was crushed by nine of eighteen wheels coming up behind them. I have always felt bad for my fellow Sabbath fan. He's now been dead about eighteen years.

We pass other people by in life, who sort of get 'frozen in time' in our minds. He was one of the first for me, and now I have many more. It's always a little different when you lose someone who is your peer. You expect to lose older people, and you occasionally lose people who are much younger, but when you lose a peer you feel diminished in a sense.

------
The Alienist
jhfurnish@yahoo.com


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