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Another good man taken way too early

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya………..

I’m saddened to report today on the loss of a friend over the weekend. He was just 39 years old. This is a pretty significant loss to the dudeimtellinya.com family as it was this man who started this website. His name was Tom, but we all affectionately called him Morty. His dad apparently carried that moniker and Tom was really close to his father. So at a certain point in time, he started going by the nickname Morty.

Back in high school, he used to have people over to his home almost every day to hang out and listen to music and sneak in a couple of beers. He dubbed his little hideaway Morty’s Pub. And no matter when you went over to Morty’s Pub, there was always a few other people hanging out laughing it up. Morty was always the gracious host—happy to have his friends over enjoying his hospitality.

Eventually, Morty asked a friend of ours who is quite the computer whiz and has created dozens of websites and blogs over the years to construct one for him. One of his favorite phrases was, “Dude, I’m tellin’ ya…….”

Such as, “Dude, I’m tellin’ ya, the WhiteSox are gonna kick some ass this year.”

or

“Dude, I’m tellin’ ya, there’s no better place in the country than the California coast, man ! ”

Morty loved California and had travelled out there in his VW bus when he was in his late teens or right around 20. Some health circumstances made him come back to Illinois where his family was. But he always wanted to get back out there. Permanently. To him, they were the greatest times of his life. The weather. The colorful people. The freedom he enjoyed out there. The laid-back lifestyle. He mentioned getting back out there soon at least a half-dozen times to me over the last nine months.

So he wanted a blog site where he could expound on his love for his family, California, classic rock music (especially Pink Floyd, Led Zep, and The Who), VW buses, and other things that he cherished and felt strongly about. So our computer whiz buddy built this little blog site and purchased the domain name dudeimtellinya.com just for Morty. He posted in the early days of the site, but his health sometimes interfered with his ability to stay on top of it regularly. When I wanted to start blogging, our buddy suggested that I reinvigorate dudeimtellinya.com

And here we find ourselves today. Mourning the loss of the site’s founding father. The name never changed and on every post I have ever put up, I have started it with ol’ Morty’s favorite catch phrase.

I moved to where I currently live just 7 months ago in July 2009. Prior to this, I was living out in Aurora, Illinois about 10 minutes from Morty’s house. When I got out there, I didn’t know anyone in that area except my sister and Morty. Within a week of my arrival, he had learned I was nearby and reached out to me. We hadn’t seen each other in upwards of 20 years (high school). We met up at a local watering hole that he clued me into and we spent about three hours reminiscing about the good ol’ days. He told me about some of the cooler places in town where I could shop and get some good grub.

Over the next twelve months that I lived out in Aurora, he invited me to his house many times where I was privileged to meet his mother on several occasions. We even learned that our sisters went to high school together a few years before we did and performed together in the school choir. I hung out with him and we watched WhiteSox games and one of his favorite shows—–Cheaters……laughing at the sneaky people on there getting caught cheating on their boyfriends/girlfriends. Although Morty really didn’t have a mean bone in his body. After I moved, we still hooked up for Bears games and just to shoot the shit.

That same computer whiz buddy runs a website where our high school stays in touch with uncommon regularity (for free…unlike that pay-to-play classmates site somewhere out there). Morty was one of the original members (the site now has over 3200 alumni spanning 50 years that chat, support each other’s pursuits, and get together for numerous functions). He made over 10,000 posts and was a regular at every BBQ, Christmas party, band gig, out-of-town visitor bar gathering, birthday celebration, etc.

He absolutely loved being part of that community of ours. He knew everyone and everyone knew Morty. He just loved it. Loved it.

On my birthday last March 11, he called me up and said there was no way we weren’t going to go out and have a few coldies together on him. So we went to this little Irish bar out there in Aurora (that he had turned me on to) and we spent most of the afternoon there. I asked him that day why he wasn’t also involved on Facebook since he loved the high school site so much. I told him how that social networking site could let him hook up with all of his old friends that didn’t happen to go to our high school. He said he didn’t think he’d be that interested because he had the high school site. But that he’d look into it when he got home.

Next thing you know, by the following day, Morty is a member of Facebook and I have a “friend request” from him. By the time I clicked ‘yes’ to approve him, he already had 25 friends and in short order, he was up to 150. 

But that was Morty. I never heard him knock or say anything bad about anyone. He thought every girl he knew was absolutely beautiful and every guy was cool as all hell.

So if you’ve ever enjoyed a single post on this site, now you know who started it all. And if you ever come back here to read another post, that opening line belongs to him…..not me. I never could claim ownership of it for a second.

Take care, Morty. Until we meet up again.

You California lovin’, VW bus drivin’, classic rock listenin’, proud-ass owner of Morty’s Pub.

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