Saturday, September 18, 2010

The guys who made my life... livable.

Joshua Howard Griffith 1976

I met Joshua when I was 2 years old. His uncle Howard was in a band with my dad, and Joshua's dad, Rich, also played now and again with them. After a few years, our parents lost contact and life went on...Fast forward to 1992. Elisha's Bones played The Corral in Vancouver, and this kid came up to me. "Um, hi. My name is Josh and I think your band is rad."

I took Josh home that night after a late night dinner at Denny's with the band. He wanted me to meet his mom. "Mom," he said, "this is Erin." "Brockway?" She smiled. I came in and realized that we'd been friends as babies.

Since then, Joshua has become my closest friend, my biggest fan and one I trust. Going on 34 years...he's just the best there is.

Peter Warner 1985

Peter literally saved my dad's life. He gave my dad hope and a job and became my dad's closest friend and supporter and Peter is still that person for my dad after 25 years. Peter also helped me realize that my life is good. I was depressed as a teen, having gone through divorce, become promiscuous and had the normal friendship drama every teen has. I wanted to kill myself. I didn't have a plan, just a desire, and that was enough for him to take me under his wing, counsel me, love me and get me focused on the future.

Peter was my pastor at Rivercrest and Fresh Faith and even performed my wedding. He's always there for me and will always be so very dear to me.

Michael "Mikee" Bridges II 1989

I met Mikee at The Connection, followed his band, The Gecko Monks, for a few years, chatted with him about music and shows, went to events and hung out with him and picked his brain. In 1993, we did The Dickens project and went bowling a lot. In 1995, I began working for him at TOM Fest alongside Todd Fadel, and got to know him.

He was stubborn, determined, an egomaniac, hilarious, rude, gentle-hearted, generous, smart and had a passion for Jesus. I became one of his closest friends. I stuck by him through some horrible moments...and he has done the same for me.

This is the man who defended my honor when a guy attempted to violate me sexually. He held me and let me cry when Chris was in school in Oklahoma and was falsely accused of a crime. He's been my protector. And I know that if I needed him for anything, he'd board a plane and be here for me.

I think I've been his biggest supporter through so many controversies and trails because I know his heart. You either hate him or love him. And I adore him.

Matthew "Matty" "Zip" Zimmerman 1993

Matt worked at Coffee People at PDX, and every night when he'd get off work at 11pm, we'd go to The Hotcake House on 10th & Powell and talk, drink way too much coffee, plug the jukebox and usually have some breakfast....not to mention smoke a pack of cigarettes.

In 1995, Chris left for The University of Oklahoma and Matt's parents moved to New Jersey. We were both sad and needed a friend. He was my closest friend during that weird time, and I'll never forget it.

I've rarely spent time with him since about 1997 - just shows, festivals, etc...but he'll always hold a major place in my heart.

Todd Fadel 1995

I met Todd in Mikee's living room one night as they talked logistics about The Push, a club they started together. Todd was silly, smart, creative as hell and had a gift for booking shows, drawing people in and finding the good in everyone. He was the General Manager of Circle Slide Productions/TOM Fest/The Push and later The Spincycle. I loved helping him pull shows together, listen to his ideas and having his friendship.

On May 20, 1997, I came to work at the TOM fest office and no one was there. The phone rang and it was Todd. "I need help," he slurred. "I hit a house. On Hartley." I took off and found his milk truck slammed into a house at the bottom of the hill. He stood holding a bloody rag to his face. Cops were questioning him. I stood with my arm around him. He was shaking. His brakes had failed.

Todd required facial surgery and had he not veered into the house, he could have crossed into traffic, killed someone, or had he kept going, he would have flown into a ravine. The whole thing was pretty amazing. His pager went off as we stood in the driveway and it was Mikee. After a call to him, we found out that he and Josi were at the hospital and Veronica had been born. I haven't forgotten her birthday since.

Bryan Everett 1996

Bryan is a kindred spirit. I moved in with him and Bradley Swanson in 1998 to a big old house in Gresham. I had a basement room and Bryan had the attic room - both of us a little anti-social and quiet. Slowly, I began to creep out of my hole in the basement and spend time with the him. Bryan is faithful, silly, loves me for who I am, is honest and gentle and sometimes brutal with me.

He married Kissa in 1999 and our families are intertwined - Flannery and Averie are just 2 months apart in age and are best friends. Cannon and Aecea are a year apart and love each other. Our values mirror one another for the most part. We encourage each other in the Lord and love being together. He's probably my favorite "playmate" for a boy. We make each other laugh and can eat our weight in sushi. He's a total blast.

Christopher John Collins 1991...My Husband

I married my very best friend. We met in 1991 when I was babysitting Kial for Kevin and Linda Collins...Chris is Kevin's little brother. When I saw him for the first time, my heart stopped and I actually thought, "I want to marry this guy." His dark brown hair was long, down his back. He has earrings and a nose ring, wore a flannel (think grunge era), and wore one black and one white converse, long underwear under cut off shorts and had full lips. Oh my. I was smitten.

In 1993, we did a band with Kevin and Linda, and I fell more and more in love with him. He was going to college that fall, and decided to have his hair cut off and his rings taken out. "No professor will take me seriously if I keep looking like this," he told me. Still beautiful, we started hanging out and in 1994 it became official. He was my boyfriend. We were married in 1998.

I was psycho most of the time. I can't believe he stayed with me, but he did and now it's just bliss. We pick at each other sometimes, but the majority of the time we make each other laugh, talk about the future, the kids, go on long walks and are as frisky as ever. He works hard, puts us first and is the man I want Cannon to turn into, and the man I want Flannery to marry one day.

Sometimes I see his face from across a crowded room and think I'm looking in a mirror for a moment. Now that's real love.