Thread: Lost the best friend I ever had

fanfrom-71 - 8/12/2007 at 11:20 PM

Just found out today my oldest and at one time closest friend passed away a few days ago. We met in 1969 through my older brother,and even though he was 5 years older we became fast friends.I went to my first concerts with John,including the ABB in Feb '72 after he and my brother got back from seeing them in Puerto Rico at the Mary Sol Pop Festival.In fact I would have to say he is responsible for forming my musical taste at a young age.We went to a LOT of shows together.Actually the last time I saw him was about 5 years ago when I called him to go see Steve Miller.We started "farming" together in 1975,untill I got out of it in 1980 to go work in the oil fields in Louisianna.He had one hell of a green thumb,and made it in High Times a few times for the product he produced.
Unfourtantly I decided to clean up and he didn't,and I watched him decline greatly over the years. I thought of him often,and will dearly miss him,but pray he is in a better place now.This news although not unexpected,deeply saddned me.He was a GREAT human being.Just wanted to share this to help me cope with the loss.Thanks for letting me share my loss here on the site.
I love you john.You'll always be a brother.Thanks for MANY wonderful memories.
The following is his obit.I thought it was cool his days in Gainsville were noted.
~Bruce


John Martin "Long John" Bernard
Bernard, John Martin "Long" of St. Petersburg, died July 31, 2007, at age 53. During the 1970s, John pioneered guerilla farming cultivation techniques and helped establish worldwide recognition of the Florida homegrown produce, commonly called to then as "Gainesville Green." John's 100% organically grown produce provided a healthy and pleasing Made-in-America alternative to imported products. John retired from farming in the 1980s and became a maker of custom furniture and cabinetry. John was a captivating story teller, and he enjoyed playing the guitar and helping others.


cohenf - 8/12/2007 at 11:32 PM

Thanks so much for sharing the obituary and your story. I am greatly touched. My deepest condolences for your loss. He sounds like he was a terrific person to know.


rollingcrowe - 8/13/2007 at 01:44 AM

I feel your pain bro. I lost one of my best friends ever Feb. 16th 2006. He was just 44 years old. He was a great singer/songwriter who taught me how to play guitar when we were kids. We also played in a band together for a few years. I think about him everytime I play guitar. I made a memorial site for him on myspace.com to help keep his memory and music alive. Godspeed friend


cupofjo - 8/13/2007 at 01:49 AM

Sorry to hear of your friend passing. You will have those memories forever.


CowboyNeil - 8/13/2007 at 02:00 AM

Sorry about you friends passing.i can relate,lost my buddy in 97,i met him in 1965 my first day of school, hej ust kept going fulltilt boogie and we all turned it way down.Miss him everyday, but he was never going to cleanup so I try not to feel guilty about the choices he made in life.

Its hard to lose someone you love,especially way before their time.Time makes it easier but there will always be a void that the filled in your life.God bless his family and friends,he was a lucky man to have you as a brudda


abfan4004 - 8/13/2007 at 02:10 AM

So sorry to hear the Passing of your best freind. Ithurts very bad when you lose such a close freind! My prayers and condolences are with you and your freind!


Gregallmanfan - 8/13/2007 at 04:29 AM

Sorry for your loss bro...I lost one of my closest friends in our early 30s...there's still an empty feeling when I hear Zeppelin (his favorite), brew some homebrew or go camping.

Greg


redspruce26 - 8/13/2007 at 06:56 AM

man,i'm so sorry for your friends passing,i lost my best friend 2 months ago,still cant get past it.i still think he's alive at times, guess i havent accepted it yet.we were out partying the night before he died,unfortinatly he took some methodone that night and died in his sleep,.i'm at a point where i just dont care anymore thats the second friend ive lost in the last year,stay strong and pray,thats all we can do,take care,pm me if you llike,matt


leftyblues - 8/13/2007 at 08:06 AM

sorry for your loss...


JaminRebel - 8/13/2007 at 11:12 AM

Bruce, sorry to hear about the death of your old friend. I've never seen an obituary quite like that one before. What did your friend John die of? 53 is still pretty young, too young to die. And you do yourself a favor in staying "clean". It'll probably add years to your life.


dadof2boys - 8/13/2007 at 11:45 AM

so sorry...


BigDaveOnBass - 8/13/2007 at 12:23 PM

Bruce, sorry to hear about John's passing. I think the obit is a cool tribute to him. Hold the good memories close, and he'll always be with you.


OldDirtRoad - 8/13/2007 at 02:36 PM



Sorry about your Friend.....It's something I think about from time to time......

My best Bud and I ran the streets regulary from 1976 until 1998....now we only get to talk on the phone a couple of times a year. When we were in our 20's I used to tell him he was going to "drink himself to death" and he said one day I "would go nuts and do myself in"(he was almost right). Now he has Hep C and I have some Heart issues...we both call and check on each other from time to time.

True Best "friends" are hard to find !

Again...I'm sorry you lost your Bud.


fanfrom-71 - 8/13/2007 at 04:04 PM

quote:
Bruce, sorry to hear about the death of your old friend. I've never seen an obituary quite like that one before. What did your friend John die of? 53 is still pretty young, too young to die. And you do yourself a favor in staying "clean". It'll probably add years to your life.
First I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments,and for sharing stories of their own losses.It is never easy,especially when it is someone you've known most of your life,and were very close to.Thanks again.
I'm not sure what John passed away from Dean.I know he had been a HARD drinker for the last 25 years or so.In fact John is the only person I have ever known who DID NOT start their drug use with alcohol.He was in his late 20's before he started drinking.
I was LUCKY enough to "crash and burn" in 1985 and become aware of the fact I would not last much longer if I didn't change my ways.So I am very happy to say I am going on almost 25 years of being clean. Even though I do drink a couple of glasses or so of Merlot a week.And a "puffy" here and there with friends.


Buppalo1 - 8/13/2007 at 04:09 PM

My condolences.....


Hophead - 8/13/2007 at 04:27 PM


I can really relate to your pain, fanfrom-71. I lost my best friend ever on October 29, 2001 -- the thirtieth anniversary of Duane's passing -- and I still miss him every single day. Every single day.

Ray Pavlovic and I were fraternity brothers, college roommates, and fellow Allman Brothers fans. Ray was with me at most of the early shows I have written about, including this one: http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Calendar& amp;file=showCalendarMonth&type=viewevent&eid=690&tapers=1& tid=899&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

May your friend John Rest In Peace.


fanfrom-71 - 8/13/2007 at 04:38 PM

quote:

I can really relate to your pain, fanfrom-71. I lost my best friend ever on October 29, 2001 -- the thirtieth anniversary of Duane's passing -- and I still miss him every single day. Every single day.

Ray Pavlovic and I were fraternity brothers, college roommates, and fellow Allman Brothers fans. Ray was with me at most of the early shows I have written about, including this one: http://www.allmanbrothersband.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Calendar& amp;file=showCalendarMonth&type=viewevent&eid=690&tapers=1& tid=899&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

May your friend John Rest In Peace.
Wow Hop! Eat A Peach was one of John and mines favorite ABB albums. We wore the grooves of of it when it came out.So last night I decided to drive through the old 'hood to rekindle some fond memories,and picked out the 6/27/71 show to listen to as I did.


greggswoman - 8/13/2007 at 04:41 PM

Bruce, so sorry for your loss.


Florence1977 - 8/13/2007 at 04:45 PM

Bruce,

Sorry for your loss. Beautifull story.

Love from Florence


Mudflapgirl - 8/13/2007 at 04:49 PM

Peace be with you, friend.

Sorry for your loss.


sixty8 - 8/13/2007 at 07:04 PM

Very sorry for your loss.

Pete


fanfrom-71 - 8/14/2007 at 05:03 PM

Just want to say thanks again for everyones thoughts and comments.
One thing positive from this is I have been in touch with some people I have not heard from in MANY years.


lolasdeb - 8/15/2007 at 05:51 PM

Sorry for your loss, Bruce. Godspeed, Long John.


Eileen1 - 8/15/2007 at 06:05 PM

Bruce, sorry for you loss. (((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))


jasonvancura - 8/15/2007 at 06:07 PM

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. He is in my prayers!


skyponydogboy - 8/15/2007 at 08:29 PM

I know your pain. Hang tough.
spdb


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