Saturday, March 8, 2008

I miss The Dogg

No this is not about my old schnauzer, Marty, though he will always be my favorite pet no matter what. I seriously think that if I emulated Marty I would be in the Celestial Kingdom with room to spare. But that post will have to be another day. I am referring to another Dogg, BJ Chestnut. He was my best friend since high school, and he died about 3 and half years ago. I miss him everyday. That said, I feel like the luckiest guy to have known him. Every so often I get on the computer and look things up that remind me of him. Usually music, but also sports and well, music. He loved music. It was his passion. So I want to blog about BJ and music for a bit.

He and I had the same tastes in music for the most part .Whenever I got a tip from BJ about a band, I could always count on it being someone I would love. It is kind of like people who are bad dressers so they have other people pick out their clothes. Maybe I'm a bad dresser (t-shirt, shorts and flip flops is all i ever wear if i can), but that is beside the point. I think I have good taste in music, but BJ had great taste in music and when he found it, he let me know, and I would be hooked. I dont always have the time to find new artists, so BJ found them and let me in. ....................small tangent, Jeddy just woke up and wanted water. He is so cute. I love my kids. I'm so lucky...........It was usually really emotionally powerful stuff that he was into. Coldplay, Dashboard Confessional, Jeff Buckley, to name a few. But I always think of him when I hear certain songs, especially those artists. One in particular is Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah'. Here is a link if you havent heard it.

I also find some physical resemblance to BJ, though no resemblance on Jeff's voice. BJ was a great looking guy but kind of tone retarded when he sang. This is kind of how it is in sports. Most great coaches were just average players. The reverse can also be true. They know how the game is supposed to be played though so they are amazing at seeing talent and putting it to work, they just can't do it themselves. BJ knew he couldn't sing. But he absolutely envied those that could. I can't sing either, so he felt comfortable singing around me. And I have to say, one of us always really enjoyed it. Him.

Well, this week I was flipping through the tv and saw on American Idol that one of the finalists was singing this song, Hallelujah. It made me think of BJ. I only caught the end of it and was unimpressed. But even Simon said it was great so I figured I should look it up and see how he was. Well, I just youtubed it and found it. He did do a nice job. Then for about an hour(if you are wondering where I get all this time, Kim is on a ladies weekend in San Diego with her sisters and mom.) I watched videos of Jeff Buckley, just thinking of The Dogg, and wondering if he and Jeff are hanging out(Jeff Buckley's life and career were cut short. He drowned back in 1997). If you know BJ, you know he had kind of a lot of man crushes so he is probably hanging out with him or Elvis. He is probably looking forward to seeing that dude from EFY who had the great teeth. He loved that guy. Now, don't be confused, BJ was completely hetero, but I guess he just had enough confidence to let the rest of us know when he thought a guy was good looking. I don't know if any of us were real comfortable with that, but it was always a nice time making fun of him for it.

Anyway, back to the point. I was watching Jeff Buckley videos and checked out BJ's original blog site he created back before I even knew what a blog was. I read some posts and it made me want to get in touch with someone he and I were friends with. I sent her an email. She emailed back. I hope if she reads this post that she knows BJ is probably looking out for her up there. Then I decided to check the blog of another friend who left a comment on BJ's old blog. I went to her blog and it blew me away. She had just written a post about the very same performance on American Idol that made me think of BJ in the first place.

So here I am. Full circle. I've got the music on and I can't go to bed until I let you know some of what makes me miss The Nutter every day. This is one of those blogs that are more therapeutic than anything else. I miss him. I really think we are supposed to love deeply those around us in this life. I have never had a friend who loved deeper everyone they knew. He wasn't selective. He may not have gotten along with everyone all of the time, like when he punched me really hard while we were driving to a wedding. Almost crashed. Or when he and Jake dragged me out of our house at 1 am in the freezing cold winter Utah weather, trying to take my clothes off along the way out. There was also the time that he tried to hook up with my wife, but at least that was before we were dating. I have to admit, even the things that drove me nuts about BJ, I miss. He was the best. I don't really want to see him any time soon, maybe 70 years or something. I just hope when I do, he will be able to break away from Jeff so we can hang out. That's all for now. Love ya Dogg.


Gardagami said...
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Lynn Henry said...

Wow Ben... that was really something.
I'm thinking that this was hard to get started, but then just kinda wrote itself once you got going, and more than a couple of tears were shed during the process.
You really hit the nail directly on the head when you said that this was therapeutic. I have found that putting things down on paper (or in this case, a blog) can help us to let go a little and free our heads and minds to focus on other more pressing matters.
What a wonderful description of your friend and what he means to you... it sounds to me that you both were lucky to have known each other.
Thank you so much for sharing this difficult topic with us.

Love you brother

brittdave said...

Thankyou, you have always amazed me with your capacity to be a great friend to a lot of people, I'm sure BJ was a lot like you.

Also thankyou for watching the kids so I could hang out with your wife, we had a wonderful time.

Wendy said...

I don't think I ever heard about the guy with great teeth at EFY that BJ loved. That's hilarious. I miss BJ too. Even though I didn't keep in touch with him in the later years I still have such fond memories of him from way back when. I can't wait to see him again and I sometimes wonder what he's doing up there while we're all down here.

Side note: After listening to Jason Castro's performance I too was on YouTube for a while checking out all the different versions of Hallelujah (sp?), including Jeff Buckleys. I'm going to check out more of his music.

~home bodies~ said...

ben, that was an awesome post-i related to every word that you wrote. it made me smile, but then whenever i think of bj i smile. i miss him too. ml

Martin said...

I remember BJ, I only met him a few times when he was living with you in Provo. I can empathize, I get pensive and think about family and friends that are gone whenever I listen to any James Taylor, or David Wilcox.

P.s. you should check out to Kate Rusby. My favorite by her are "Who now will sing me lullabies" and "let the cold wind blow"


LaughinGass said...

It's good to know I'm not the only one who checks up on BJ's website still. I think about him all the time too, we have photos of him in our house and my kids know him by name. If you want to hear Jeff Buckley re-incarnated (and think of BJ more) you HAVE to check out Patrick Watson. AMAZING. Just like BJ. It's crazy because I'm always finding music BJ would love, or thinking, "Man, wouldn't it be nice to do a guys trip with BJ right now". He will always be the Dogg.

brittany said...

I came on over after I saw your comment on wendy's blog. Man, i miss BJ too. Especially after this post. He did love friends deeply and instantly. I could talk to him about anything. I remember way back in HS, I would talk to him every day on the phone. It's sad to not be able to reconnect now...well, I guess I just did. Thanks, Ben.

and yeah, that's funny about the efy guy with good teeth:)

Emily said...

I am crying....BJ was the best. Your words have touched me and comforted me in a way that you will never know. Thanks.

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

Thanks for some great comments. I checked out your recommendation Aaron, and it was uncanny how much Patrick Watson sounds like Buckley. Kim and I were in a trance.EmilyI read your post about BJ, that was great, I loved it. It made me realize I needed to tag everyone who knows BJ to recount some of your own stories so the rest of us can remember him in your eyes. If you already have, send me a link.

Emily, I am really glad that you got my message and I thank you for your kind words. Hope you all are well.

Shelby said...

I meant to respond a long time ago. Good post, Ben.
For some reason, Wendy's post reminded me about how BJ's fingers and toes used to get locked up in strange positions and it happened at the prom.

I just found (this week) about 20 letters from him while he was on his mission, and if I get the chance I'll take pics and post because it's some GREAT BJ artwork.

Best memories. . .

AnnieB said...

I was just going to snoop and not post but I'm compelled to comment. what a beautiful tribute to BJ! We miss him too and it was good to hear some more stories about him. I've always been a fan of Jeff Buckley but didn't realize that BJ was. "Hallelujah" and "Last Goodbye" are my favorites and will now have new meaning! (I will be looking up Patrick Watson tonight!)Thanks again!
Annie (and John) Blatter

Greg, Joy, Riley and Carter said...

Yea, so this month over due.Anyway, it is always good to see what an impact a person can have on others. BJ was an amazing guy with so much to offer. I think of him often and wonder if he watches over us and gets a kick out of all the silly things we do. He is someone that I look forward to seeing again.I am glad I got an opportunity to be close to him for the stretch of time in Provo. He meant a lot to me and always will. Don't laugh,but I still have emails saved from him. Thanks for such a great post

Ben & Kimberly McEvoy said...

no laughing here. I have kept emails and old letters. i should go through them again. And thanks again for the memories shared everyone. Yeah, those times in Provo were some of the best for me too. I ran into an old Los Hermanos co worker, Charles, the other day. Made me think about those days when we were young.

Mommy Bethy said...

wow. i was bjs girlfriend his junior year in high school. i went to mv, we met on the cross country team. he introduced me to motley crue.
i just googled his name because i am looking for his mom and dad. i found an article i saved from the paper with a picture of bj. anyway, i miss him too.

ahlin photography said...

Wow... just stumbled across this post about BJ from over 2 years ago. Along with everyone else- I still miss BJ. It's coming up on the 6 year anniversary of his death and it still seems like just yesterday that he was here belting out songs with that tone-deaf voice of his. Thanks for remembering and posting your thoughts about him Ben... Hope you guys are doing well. :)