Remembering Andy 2018-08-30T12:37:36-07:00


The following was prepared by Erin Sills following the death of Andy
on February 23, 2015.

“Andy was far from perfect –none of us are.  He had his share of faults as we all do. But he did have a unique approach to life.  To living fully.  And if we can learn even a little from that approach, maybe we’re all a little better off from knowing Andy when we had time with him.”

So, what does it mean to #livelikeAndy?

Be a feminist.  Andy was an original University of California Berkeley hippy, outspoken 1960s anti-war organizer, and a true feminist the long before it was hip to be one.  His mother was a feminist, and she taught him well.

Raise good humans.  He and his first wife Laura raised their two daughters (Rachel & Rebecca) and son (Eli) to follow their passions, to be good parents for our four grandkids, and to be educated and outspoken in their beliefs.  The planet is better because they are on it.

Have an informed opinion.  If Andy disagreed with you, he would spend the time to explain (and explain, and explain) his point-of-view.  And it would be a very well educated point-of-view.  My mom put it well once …you never had to ask Andy what he thought about a topic.  You may still disagree with one another, but you would each learn something in the discussion and respect one another for it.

Know when to put it in reverse.  Andy took pride in being “a terrier”, but also knew when and how to diffuse a situation.  He once told me “babe, when you have as strong a forward gear as I do, you have to know when to throw it in reverse and apologize.”

Have big friends.  For what it’s worth, most of Andy’s male friends are at least 6’2”. And of course, I mean big in heart as well as altitude. Andy was a tremendous friend who worked hard to stay in touch and be there when friends needed him, and vice versa.

Be a meat-a-terrian.  Like a vegetarian, but for those who want to spare the lives of poor, unsuspecting vegetables and celebrate steak, hot dogs, and red meat of any kind.

Know that all people can be great.  Andy took the time to get to know people along the way.  He went out of his way to venture back to the kitchen after a good roadside meal and thank the cooks for their great work.  When on the Bonneville Salt Flats, he stopped at each of our mile markers to express his gratitude.  He truly appreciated what people did for him and it brought him joy to tell them “Thank You”.

I told him often that he made the world better one person at a time.

Delight in music.  Andy was an accomplished harmonica player and student of Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, and of course … Bob Dylan.  The tune, lyrics, poetry and sound mattered to him a great deal.

Love a lot.  When I met Andy 15 years ago, he warned me that he “had a lot of love to give.”  He was right, and I am so much better for it.  Dear Friends, please say “I love you” a lot, and express it even more often.  It can give you peace even in the toughest times.

“I’m looking for love.  Real love.  Ridiculous, Inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex And The City

Vote for the Democrat.  Sorry friends, but the word “Republican” was usually preceded by the “f-word”, as in “F-ing Republicans.”  To that end, #LiveLikeAndy means you read the New York Times and not the Wall Street Journal.

But most of all…  #LiveLikeAndy means knowing that life’s about the journey, not the destination.  Always carry the right gear (“there’s no bad weather, just wrong gear”), be ready to roll with the punches that you’re thrown, and live for today.

Andy enjoyed the journey and would want us all to do the same.