The people that know me well know that I love cycling and train most days for four hours. My personal record time was finally achieved at 57 minutes in the 42.5km time trial on July 24th, 2009. For a month in my training I had placed white tape on each of my four fingers, on both hands. Each piece of tape has a letter, spelling D.U.N.C.A.N.2.0.
This is a tribute to my friend Duncan MacPherson. On Aug 9th, 2009 it was twenty years since his passing on.
Duncan's parents lived across the street from my grandparents. As kids, from time to time, we would play. In our early twenties as young adults we would start hanging out again. He too loved cycling and in his off-season from playing professional hockey would cycle as part of his conditioning. Both of us would often train together.
Duncan had a passion for excellence in everything he did, particularly in his sport of choice. Hockey. He was drafted by the N.Y. Islanders in the first round in 1984. He loved a challenge. He loved trying something new. He gave his best to each day.
I learned so much from him during those summers. The commitment. The level of training one needed to do. He made me appreciate every new day in a way I hadn't before. The bike frame that I use today is the same one I used then. Sure, the ones now are one-third the weight and far superior. But this frame has a history and in part I use it to remember his life.
Since his death, some people have remarked how sad it was that he was just twenty-three when he died. But the way I look at it Duncan was alot like the "morning glory" flower. Morning glories, if you look closely at them, will show you how extraordinary they are both in colour and texture. And that in their center, is a kind of golden light that shines from within. At the end of the day they turn a most beautiful shade of lavender and then close up, wither, and die. They live for only one day and then they are gone.
You see, it doesn't matter how long your life is. It only matters that you were here in all your glory, and that you opened up completely and let your light shine. And that you brought joy to those who came into contact with you. That's what matters to the morning glory, and that's what should really matter to all of us.
Monday, Aug 1st, 1989 was the last day I saw my friend Duncan. His last words were: "Miles, I don't know when I'll see you again."
I remember his face and those words as if it were yesterday. So, I place the white tape and the letters to give thanks for all his glory. For his extraordinary life. To keep challenging myself and others as he did.
Dedicated to my friend: Duncan MacPherson (February 3, 1966 - August 9, 1989)
Author John Leake giving a reading from his latest book "Cold a Long Time".
Photos by Terry Schulhauser
About the Author Globally recognized and award-nominated engineer, producer, writer, poet and founder and C.E.O. of 5 Star Productions, Miles Patrick Yohnke brings many years of experience to the music industry; including many awards in sales and marketing. If you are looking at developing your career, Yohnke offers consulting in person, by phone or via email. For more info, please contact him directly at: 306.227.6379 or email at: miles(at)5-starproductions.com.