MATT PARK. I met Matt on a cold, dark night. We were the last crazies doing the circuit ride over in Irvine. He was about 13 or 14.
I stayed out, concerned for his safety.
He stayed out, because he loved riding.
... I can't even write this...
My young friend is gone.
When Matt left for NYU, we stayed in touch. He kept riding, I kept loving his sweet and fearsome spirit... encouraging him, as any old fart would do, to make good choices.
On his visits back to CA - home is Korea - he always made time to do our Tuesday ride and we'd catch up on the way to my house where he'd grab water and keep riding.
One day he texted... Mr Brown, my team is doing RaceDay bags!
He was so excited.
He had joined Veselka and Ron Restivo and I were indeed working on designs.
... this is so hard...
A few months ago, Matt asked if he could intern here.
What a joy. Always happy, and kind, and looking out for the customers and the company. He took care of shipping and customer service.
At some point, each afternoon he'd come over and say I need a hug Mr. Brown.
We talked about his family, love life, studies... his volunteer work at church.
He never missed a chance to remind me how old and worn out I was on and off the bike... and I loved it!
C'mon old man.
One day, I was all geeked up about Kanye's new album... Jesus Is King. Figured it would be good common ground for us. He laughed, and said it had been out forever... reminded me how out of touch I was. I had to check. It was released a month ago today - 10/25/19. Kids.
When Ron Restivo emailed this morning with the heart-breaking news I couldn't believe it.
Matt's little red Benz, wrapped around a tree.
I'm still crying.
I put on Follow God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivCY3Ec4iaU
I need a hug, Matt.
God, I need a hug.
Readers... I'm sorry this isn't the usual make you go ride your bike post. I love our community so much. We all touch each other in ways we may never know.
If you're local... I plan to slow ride TMWC tomorrow.