Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Amble On, Old Friend
Just found out today that an old blogging friend has gone on to amble along greener paths than those he found on this blue marble and at the local paper.
Daryl "Abe" Cochran, aka Old Rusty Bucket, aka Amblin' Abe, passed away this past Sunday. He was one of the "original" bloggers for the local rag, the Victoria Advocate, along with the Grey-Beard Loon and Pilot. Those three, in my day, formed a sort of "holy trinity" and I like to think that they gave a little class to a fledgling online version of an old and storied newspaper. Sadly, over the years, nearly all the early bloggers for that publication, including CJ Castillo, Tim Oi, Amber Bee, Natasha Verma, and others removed themselves from the ever-increasing lowered journalistic standards practiced by the VicAd, and most went off to form their own blogs on alternative sites. Some of us kept in touch through the years, and some not so much.
Abe (or as most called him, Rusty) wrote some down-to-Earth, humorous stuff that always had a gleam of truth to boot. His frankness sometimes offended those sensitive types, but he was never afraid to say what was on his mind. His riding mower adventures are legendary; well, at least in my mind they are. His mishaps quite reminded me of my dad at times. His "Amblin' Abe" outdoor column, always interesting and intelligently written, was deemed unnecessary by the "new guard" at the Victoria Advocate and he was summarily discharged so that more room could be devoted to unwed mamas and their baby daddies; the latest liberal whinefests; fascinating facts on the local celebrity, "Pepper"; facetious "Pro/Con" articles concerning the most asinine and ridiculous topics ever placed in print; and ALL the typographical, grammatical, and factual errors one publication could possibly hold.
After the departure of such journalistic maestros including Abe, Grey-Beard Loon, and Henry Wolf, the VicAd began its long downward spiral that continues to this day. The depression and sadness this caused for many especially affected my old friend Rusty and, I contend, played no small role in his last days. The demise of the VicAd was a common topic of conversation between us, as well as Grey-Beard Loon and Pilot, and while I know that my friends and I would not have done things any other way, we still mourn the loss of a once fine publication with high journalistic standards and the huge hole created by the absence of such amazing writers once employed at the stately building at 311 E. Constitution.
Which is a long-winded way of saying, "Goodbye, my old Amblin' friend. You are not forgotten". A kind, bright, witty, and generous soul has departed, and the loss is felt. Too bad it won't be recognized by the local rag. How quickly they do forget.
Amble on, Rusty. And Godspeed.