Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday Five: Scooter

It is with infinite sadness that I write about the death of one of my dearest friends, Glenn 'Scooter' Reid. Him Outdoors and I have known Sooter for a dozen years and he has enriched them in a way I cannot express. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know, but sadly his little body wasn't strong enough to deal with the pancreatic cancer with which he was diagnosed almost a year ago to this day. I will love him and miss him forever, but I am also incredibly lucky to have had such an amazing and close friend. So I want to acknowledge the affection, warmth and humour that he brought into our lives. This one's for you, Scoot:

5 Things I Love About Scooter:
  1. His ability to be all things to all people: Whether with rugby, work, or theatre productions, he has a way of making you think that you are the most important thing in the world, and at that moment you are. With so many diverse interests he knows a lot of folk and there are always numerous claims on his attention. To love Scooter is to share him; whenever we went out for a meal or to the cinema or whatever, we would have to leave at least half an hour early to give everyone who wanted to, the chance to stop and say hello.
  2. His problem-solving ability: There are few problems Scooter couldn’t fix (usually with a Maglite and a roll of gaffer tape) and he loved being able to do so. As a director I often asked if it was possible to produce a certain effect and he would say ‘of course’ and then work out how. I generally left all that technical stuff to him, as if you gave him a clear idea of your vision, he would bring it to reality. He hated problems he couldn’t fix (such as emotional issues) and on more than one occasion he wished he had a time machine so he could go back and change things.
  3. His enthusiasm: There aren’t many Southern Men interested in both sport and theatre, and I’ve loved our travels nationally and internationally to see both (I’ve taken him to football; he’s taken me to rugby; we both respectfully disagree about the greatest game ever), but his interests don’t stop there. He knows stuff (he’s been an invaluable member of our quiz team), and what he doesn’t know he is generally happy to learn. Don’t get me wrong, he has an acerbic tongue at times and won’t take shit from anyone, but he can talk to most people about most things – a wonderful companion and great drinking buddy.
  4. His thoughtfulness: He provides you with things you didn’t even know you needed but then can't do without, and is always available for friendship and support. We were on holiday in Vanuatu and Tasmania when we were made homeless by the Queenstown floods and landslips of 1999; we returned to find that Scooter and some other wonderful friends had gathered up our essential belongings (photos; diaries; records; books; cats) and stored them in their spare rooms/ basements/ garages out of further harm. We moved five times in six months and he helped us with every single shift. We rented a caravan for a week over Christmastime, which was tough with two cats and no space. He brought us a box of beer and a barbeque and came to visit every day to help with whatever he could, especially the cooking and drinking! Being an immigrant (albeit of fifteen years), Christmas is one of the hardest times for me as I miss my family desperately. Scooter knows this and is always particularly welcoming at this time of year, inviting us to share his family and his time.
  5. His affection: he is fiercely protective of his family and his friends. When Scooter loves you; you know you are loved. And he is one of the best huggers it has ever been my pleasure to know.