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I knew there would be a big crowd. How could there not be? For the past two days you had been the talk of the town. Your web of influence stretched for miles. So when I saw the crowd I wasn’t surprised. The place was still and quiet. While people were moving, and chatting amongst themselves; you could still here the drop of a pin.
The decor was fitting. Your guitars, cowboy hat and boots, plus the arrangement of flowers. They were reminders that this wasn’t a dream. While it was still a nightmare, it was in fact real. I knew it was real. I was there in my Sunday’s finest. Our friend’s were with me looking their best as well. All of us plus your family in one building to see you but you weren’t there. I hoped at some point you would arrive with a grin on your face and to everyone’s surprise your would say, “Gotcha. I just wanted everyone to get together again.” Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Instead, the idea of this all being a dream or crazy misunderstanding ended for me when your lovely wife entered. It was then I knew that this nightmare was reality. Her tears could be heard across the sanctuary. She had the tears of a young widow.
Your service was heart breaking but it was lovely. I was most comforted in the words of your Uncle-in-law. While every man who spoke did so from his heart; I found that he was the most relatable. Your band also helped bring comfort to me. And I admired them for being able to perform while also in morning. That is talent.
The service concluded and a combination of your family and friends made their way to one of the many places that you had entertained at. In fact, I had just seen you there back in October for a Halloween party. I’m glad I made it that night. There we talked, laughed, remembered and cried. And one by one your family arrived.
Your lovely wife was the first. Still pouring out the tears she had for the man she loved and who had loved her back. Any time I ran into you and her I could always see that you two were perfect together. I had never met your parents but I knew them when I saw them. Your mother seemed to comfort those who hugged her just as much as she herself was being comforted. I got stuck in one spot for a while due to the crowd and I was right near your father. I can never comprehend the pain he was feeling because I have no son to lose. But I could feel the pain radiating from him and it made tears run from my eyes.
The night went on and I was able to catch up with some of our mutual friends. Some I had seen a few weeks ago, others I hadn’t seen in years. I was reminded of some good memories that I had forgotten and even some old emotions were brought back to the surface. I was only part of a small piece of your web, but that piece included a lot of people with a lot of memories.
At one point I decided that the Blue Moon wasn’t satisfying my need to drown my sorrows. So I made a switch to a Jack on the rocks. When my drink arrived a complete stranger and I made a toast to you. Neither of us spoke, we just clinked our cups together with a sad look in our eyes and hated that you weren’t there to join us.
Eventually the wake drew to a close. The night’s band had arrived and it was time for new patrons to come in. I passed your brother on my way out. All I could say was that you were a good man and that I was sorry. No words I had could comfort him, but I had to say something.
I’m going to miss you AJ. You were a great friend. I was hoping to see you in September at the Lake Tanglewood Triathlon. I had seen you there the past two years with the Last Train Home. This year and the following years won’t be the same. I’ll miss your tweets on twitter, your post and videos on Facebook, and more music from you on iTunes. But most of all, I’ll miss running into around town. Farewell my old friend. I’ll see you in the future.
Cheers,
McWilley

AJ Swope & The Last Train Home

Aside  —  Posted: January 20, 2013 in Friends, Life, Music
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Six Days To Tri

Posted: July 15, 2012 in triathlon
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The ATC Triathlon is six days away. This will be my second tri of the summer and the second time I will be in this race. That means that I have a goal that I need to break. I did the event in 1:34:16 in 2011. Every time I look at that number I think it’s to slow. Of the clydesdales I was 10th out of 11. That’s to far down the list. I cannot be that low again. Even if I end up losing my breakfast after the race, I will not be at the end of the list.

Cheers,
Ryan

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Happy Saturday. #doctorwho

Before the dawn the streets are mine. When everyone else is enjoying their last bit of sleep, I’m riding the streets of Amarillo with less fear of being hit by a car. I would love to stay in my bed and dream of sweets and video games but I know that if I want to get in a good ride with less traffic I have to wake up while it’s still dark.

Amarillo does have some bike lanes; and there are people who meet up and ride in groups on certain days. But those bike lanes aren’t as long as I need them to be and those groups don’t meet on days that I can join them. Plus, I enjoy the quiet, calm, cool early morning setting.

I can focus on my breathing. I’m able to hear the traffic behind me as it approaches. The sun is never in my eyes. And I don’t automatically sweat off a gallon because of the Texas heat.

Before the dawn, the streets are mine. You can drive on them if you want, just keep watch for my lights.

Cheers,
Ryan

BRICK Workouts Prevent This

Posted: June 24, 2012 in triathlon
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On Saturday I participated in the Tri Raider Sprint in Lubbock, TX. It was a good race but I didn’t train on my bike enough. As a result my quads are killing me.

Transition & BRICK training will now be a regular part of my training routine. I love triathlons and I want to do more. So I’m going to be more prepared in the future.

Also, I’m going to be training on more hills. Having to walk your bike up one, or two, is humbling–and slower.

Yesterday Was Interesting

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Today is December 30th, 2011. I’ve been on vacation since December 21st. I was supposed to go into work today and take care of a few things.  Schedule music for the station, write a few blogs, produce a few “Happy New Year” promos–radio stuff. But that’s not the plan anymore. The new plan is that I’ll be going into my former place of employment to collect a few audio interviews and such. Why the change? I was released from the company yesterday. Or as a fellow coworker said,  “I was evicted.”  I wasn’t the only one who was released. No, I was one of three.

This is the first time I have ever be laid off. It’s a strange feeling, but one I knew I would someday. That’s the name of the game. Not sure why I’m typing this blog. Just like I’m not sure why I woke up at 5:15 this morning.  If I start waking up at the time every morning I’ll be upset. I’m a night person. The only dark sky I should witness should be post 7pm, not pre 7am. I’m done jabbering and my head hurts–shouldn’t have had that many drinks last night. Oops.

Have a good day my friend.

Cheers,

Ryan

From RD

Posted: December 26, 2011 in Family
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It has been 18 years to date. I should say something. But like then, I don’t know what to say or do. I’ll never forget that day. I’ll never forget you. But it’s been a long time and morning has past. I’ll remember the nickname you gave me. And that will help remember you. Rest in Peace

A few random shots of the woman I love and the cats that make us laugh.

In today’s webcast get the details on how Brantley Gilbert saved a dog, how Scarface is being remade and another ‘celebrity’ couple is trying to get a reality show.

See more videos at McWilley’s Mad World.

Sometime It Takes A Picture

Posted: September 22, 2011 in McFaterton, triathlon
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Pictures speak more than words. And those words will make you stop believing the lies that you have been telling yourself. This picture made me stop thinking, “I don’t look that bad.” I now think, “Shit I do look like the Pillsbury Doh Boy’s cousin.”

And People Wonder Why I Compete As A Clydesdale

“As you can see here the Albino American Male has just left the watering hole and is now in search of his mate–Little Debbie.”