At the funeral I really wanted to see someone from ďthe gangĒ get up and say a few words but I guess since Danny knew so many people and there is only so much time in the day no one from the gang got a chance. So Iíll write down some things I wanted to share with you guys but didnít get the chance that day.
We always called him ďLittle DannyĒ. Not because he was small or anything but because he was a few years younger than most of us, and maybe because we all kind of tried to look out for him. Like a little brother. Even back then he was doing some things that he shouldnít have been doing and I did my best to encourage him not to, but when he did, I liked to watch his back and keep him out of trouble. You know, control the environment. I would drive a group of us off into the night to some secluded hilltop where we would all sit and watch the night skyline and have great discussions on life, friends, family and spirituality. Iíll always look back on those days fondly and remember how young we were and how fast we were growing up.
We always had fun. Every weekend weather it was a party at Joeís house, a punk show at Gilman Street, a night on a hilltop, or just running over to 7-Eleven. Danny always elevated the mood to a higher level of fun.
Participating in how Danny grew up is something Iíll always cherish. Back then, Danny had some difficulty talking to girls. Actually, we all did at that time but Danny was the only one to use scientific means to increase his chances with women. I can remember his fascination with subliminal messages and he even went so far as to use a blue pen to write in dots on a blue T-shirt, ďDanny is coolĒ. Iím not sure if it worked but it was definitely amusing. Subliminally influenced or not, we all knew Danny was cool.
From the early days on, I watched as Danny became more and more adept at socializing and witnessed his confidence grow and his ability to meet new people and instantly find something in common with them to talk about and then have them laughing on the next sentence. Itís this magical ability that is so rare and Iíll miss it deeply but what Iíll miss most is how easy it was for him to get me into a really deep discussion about life.
When he came down to visit me here in San Luis Obispo, he always brought some cigars with him and we would go off into the night and find a good spot overlooking the city or a quiet little corner where we wouldnít be disturbed and talk about life. We talked about ourselves, our friends and how we felt about each other. Iím glad I got the chance to let him know how much of a dear friend he was and how much I look forward to his next visit.
The last time I saw Danny was several months ago when I came up for a visit. We hung out with Steve Henderson smoking cigars on the beach in Alameda. Then we drove into Pleasant Hill and bumped into Jeremy Favors in the Target Parking lot where he sang us his new song. It really was one of those strange wonderful nights where things just fall into place and it seems everything has meaning. I donít know if that night would be possible with any of my other friends at my side. Iím certain it couldnít be replicated and am thankful for the most excellent memory of my dear friend Danny Hope.
I was really looking forward to our Vegas trip we had planned for May. I know if I go, I wonít have the level of fun that was possible with Danny, but I know Danny would kick my ass if I turned down an opportunity to have fun. Iím still debating weather to go or not.
My deepest sympathy goes out to his family.
Iím really going to miss that guy, perhaps more than he would realize.