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Farewell, our friend. Because it had to be said again.

Sean Van Tagen

Farewell. Because it needed to be said again.

Why? So many people have been asking that question now for three weeks. Why are we saying farewell? Still? Again?

As per the last writing, what is the measure of a man? That is not my phrase. I didn't write that originally, and yet here we are. Reviewing. Rethinking. We are here again because there was a memorial service for our friend this past Saturday that was attended by at least two hundred people. What is the measure.

How can one person have so great an impact on so many in so short a time? By what measure?

That is, now, the challenge. The first article was essentially about a friend, that I did not name throughout. This will, and must, be the same. Because, at some point, that is the measure.

He never asked for or expected recognition. Everything he did was a celebration of life. At that moment, and in that environment. He represented a specific craft brewery, but celebrated all that is craft beer. And in so doing, was their salesman of the year.

He wasn't hawking his wares. He wasn't a shill. The craft beer industry is growing phenomenally. And craft beer people get it. Promote the industry, with integrity. You will be respected by your peers, your colleagues, and everyone you encounter.

It used to be Bud versus Miller. The corporate rules included that an employee couldn't partake in any other beer other than theirs. No. Really. In many cases that is still the case. Well, statistically, in most cases that is still the case. A person employed within a certain line of product is forbidden from straying from that.

In some ways that makes sense. Growing up in the Detroit area, most of the employment was with an automaker or a supplier. It was bad practice to park your Dodge in a Ford factory. But that died in

Hopefully, that is not the case in craft beer. Our friend showed us that. If we accept that message. Which is not easy, sometimes. Inclusive. All are welcome.

Bottle swapping, tasting, is exclusive to craft beer. How about a guy that works for a brewery that hosts a tasting with almost none of his own beer? OK, by that, I mean not with the company he represents. Because, in reality, most of the beer provided was by him. Never asking for anything in return. Just a great opportunity to bring like minded people together, and enjoy a like minded passion.

The measure. So many people posted something to the affect that if one percent responded to their similar event, well, enough said. I've never seen anything like this. So, do I hope not to see it again? Or do I hope to have the opportunity to know someone like him again.

Losing sucks. No matter the issue. Your football team. Your girlfriend. Your whatever. It is better to have had the opportunity. I am lucky to have known someone it hurts so much to lose.

Time for a pint. Cheers, Curtis.

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