I sit here for the last day or so wishing I knew what exactly to say and where to start. But since I don't I will just ramble and hope what comes out makes some sense.
John was a graitious, friendly and extraordinary guy. Being on the east coast, I didn't get a chance to get to really know him personally as much as I would have liked. Over the years at the shows, helping out with the newsletter when I could, and calling to just talk when his latest editorial was a bit on the down side I do feel that I got to at least be friends with him.
Many asked me why on Gods earth would I drive in an Opel from VA to LA and for the OMC picnic (One way in 2000 and out and back in 2002), it was a simple answer and a one word one at that. Family. John, along with the other cast of OMC/Southern Cal characters (Gil, Dennis, Rick, Roger, Dick, Jim, John C., Dave, and yes even Todd and many others I am sure I am forgetting ) I count as long distance friends and family that I only get to see every year or two.
I grew up in a small family and don't have much of an extended family. Over the years doing the OANA newsletter, meeting others via the website, Carlilse, the mailing list, etc.. The Opel community has become my extended family. Heck I talk to you all more than I talk to my brother, I see my fellow Opelers at the different shows more than I have seen members of my own family over the years. Thanksgiving I can miss, but a chance to be with friends and get rained on in Carlilse, that I can not miss. Over the last few years I haven't been able to make the OMC picnic due to primarly financial and time related issues, with Johns passing I regret not making the trip last year more now than ever.
I will always remember John as the warm and friendly face that was one of the very first to welcome me to my first OMC picnic almost a decade ago.
Goodbye John, it was a honor to know you.