August 16, 2007

Missing Ringo - sharing stories

It’s been tough trying to whittle down my thoughts to write out something about Mike. I have so many memories and great times in my head, but right now, my head is a huge mess, so I apologize if this doesn’t read that well.

Mike never had the ego of somebody who held his lofty position in the industry, or ever made you feel like you weren’t good enough or high enough on the food chain to breathe his air – he was an amazing, warm, REAL good person whom I feel very blessed to have had the pleasure of calling a friend.

After the news I got Monday morning about his passing away, I’ve run through an amazing range of emotions, and every day since, I’ve woken up and my mind keeps trying to disprove that this is real. I keep reading tributes and these amazing pieces about Ringo, and all of this cements something that I always tried to tell him – hell, all of his friends did – that he had NO idea how much people love and respect him. He was a beautiful person, who loved nature and animals, his friends, art and comics - all that they stood for and what they could be one day.

Out of many, a few things about Mike that we shared were a love of laughter, jokes and stuff that wasn’t comics. I would spend long hours on the phone with Mike talking about the Carolina Panthers’ football team, HBO cable shows or just making stupid voices and making each other crack up.

I know that Mike was down a lot, and sometimes I would just leave a silly message or joke on his machine when he wouldn’t pick up the phone – sometimes I could just feel that he was home, he just wasn’t in the mood to rap. And I was cool with that, but I would still let him know that I was thinking about him, and that he could call me back whenever he got around to it.

The thing the hits me the hardest about Mike’s passing is that we just talked to him – my girlfriend and I – last Saturday, the 11th, the day before he died. I had been out of the loop with a lot of friends for about a month’s time because of work, and I wanted to spend Saturday procrastinating from cleaning my house, and calling buddies sounded like a great way to while away the afternoon. Mike and I talked for about 90 minutes, and we chatted about everything under the sun. I remember he mentioned that he just got a new SleepNumber Bed, and I said that I hoped he looked better than Lyndsay Wagner does in those commercials! That rolled into a 5 minute laugh-fest of monotone testimonials from Ringo, spoken in a slow teleprompter-style, about the wonders of this miracle device and how he’d never be the same. After I asked him what his SleepNumber was, we then jokingly asked what his cat, Charlie’s was. He shrugged it off and said that Charlie never slept on the bed, and then he laughed and admitted, “Ok, it’s 39”.

Mike was really funny. I don’t think he let on in public how quick with a joke he was because he always seemed to enjoy just listening and soaking in what was around him. Given the chance, he would have me crying with laughter. Now I’m just crying.

I miss you, Ringo.

August 13, 2007

Mike Wieringo 1963-2007

I know I haven't posted a lot, and I don't expect a lot of people to read this, but I had to put something up.

It came out today that one of my best friends in and out of comics, Mike Wieringo, passed away yesterday. He was 44.

It's really tough to read all the stuff about him all over the internet, but I'm glad - he was as I've always said, one of the sweetest human beings I've ever met, and I am honored and proud to have him as a friend. Nobody could ever say a bad word about him and no one ever will.

That's enough for now.
I'm already missing my buddy. Love you Mike.