Losing my best friend, my mentor.

WolfeMacleod

V.I.P. Member
MLP Vendor
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
2,762
Reaction score
3,714
I found out a few days ago that my best, longest, deepest friend, mentor, teacher, sensei, hero, and Master is dying. By this time tomorrow, he should be gone. He's holding back death till his son can fly in from Pennsylvania...on the 26th. Then, he says, he can die.

Three years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and given 90 days at best. He hid it from all of us, never letting on, until he could no longer fight it back. I only learned about it a few days ago. Now that it's completely taken over and perforated his bowels, he's septic and dying quickly. The last time I saw him was in March, and he looked pretty spry then.
I've posted a little about him here before, but not much.

I first Met Jess Roe when I was 12, maybe 13 years old. Not too long after my step-father passed away. I met Jess at a Sci-Fi convention, sitting at a table surrounded by swords. I remember asking him if he made them.

He was already older than dirt at the time.

I began going to his shop regularly, having taken an intense interest in swords and him, personally. Over the next several years, Jess taught me to make knives, swords, and armor of all kinds. He taught me how to make Damascus steel, Japanese folded steel, steel and cuir bouilli leather armor. And how to use them.

When my mother kicked me out of the house at 16 years old, I mostly stayed with him, and continued to work with him off and on until 1995 or so. There was a short time when I lived with my girlfriend's family, in the early 90's.

Jess is the reason I became the person I am. He taught me how to learn, and have a hunger for it. He gave me the steadfast convictions I have, as well as ten lifetimes of wisdom, and the ability of critical thinking. He taught me to observe people and my surroundings.

Jess is a Legendary person, in the truest sense. Those Chuck Norris jokes? They were originally about Jess.:laugh2:

Early in 2000, I have it on film, someone mentioning, and a fight demonstration, that he was 76 years old at the time. His birthday being in November, that puts him at 89 years old now, I think. Many people believe him to be 200 years old....

In his later 70's, he was thrown from a horse and kicked. While breaking the horse. He wound up getting a hernia from that, and it slowed him down, A bit. He continued to fight and train students, but stopped breaking horses from then on.

In his mid 70's, I was visting his shop. There was a large deer that appeared on the property, making it's way across the driveway. Jess bolted out of the shop, took down the deer, and broke it's neck, killing it. They ate venison for months.

In his early 80's, he was bitten on the neck by a Brown Recluse. It almost killed him, but he killed the Recluse instead. I think he ate it for breakfast or something, because he came back stronger. It took him a while to recover from that.

In his 80's, he was still bedding and wearing out women younger than most of your daughters, I'm sure. If they were 18, they were game. He didn't chase them though, he didn't have to. He had an undeniable charm and appeal to the women, was a helluva dancer and piano player, and women swooned and fawned over him. Only once -- only ONCE - did I ever see a woman who wasn't smitten with him. Sitting on his lap, flirting heavily, she asked "So, how old are you..." He hadn't hardly managed to get out "sixty..." when her hand met his face. I believe his current girlfriend is in her mid 20's, by the looks of her.
Even on his death bed, when my girlfriend leaned over his bed to hug him and say her goodbyes, his hand was firmly planted on her ass.

Jess served in the Korean War. He's told me some war stories, but the one I remember most is "people really do taste like chicken" -- apparently, it was a matter of survival.

Jess was a friend of Bruce Lee's, and played piano in a Seattle bar that Bruce either worked in or owned, I'm not clear which.

Being a knife and sword-maker, he was a prominent member of the SCA. Quite possibly, the oldest sword-maker in the country. He's made weapons and armour for movies, theater, Japanese Embassadors...you name it. Tonight I was told about the time he'd broken up a fight between an SCA troupe and a faction of the Hell's Angels.

The city of Everett, as I hear it, unoficially "hired" him to deal thugs who were robbing bar patrons. Jess went to the bar, drank a bunch and flash a lot of money. Upon leaving, he was...accosted. Sort of. He managed to take the gun and knife away from the pair, and put them in ICU. When it went to court, they tried to sue him for excessive force...the judge added seven years to their sentence. For attacking a senior citizen. They were released a few years back. Jess was nervous about it, too... but they left the area and moved to the east Coast immediately.

He was shot by one of his own sons once, for reasons I don't know.

He's trained and took in hundreds of students and apprentices, ranging from just six years old to sixty. Each person that left his care was a better person for it. One of my deepest regrets is that I did not have children for him to teach. He is one of the reasons I want children -- so that I can pass on the knowledge and crafts I've learned from him.

He was a master of the sword, even in his later years still able to take on multiple people in heavy sparring. So tuned was he, to the people around him - their actions and movements - that he could strike a bullet fired from a pistol with his sword. I shyte you not.

It seems only recently that I remember him moving the 600lb blacksmith's anvil...by himself....

Jess was and is the real-life, living Yoda. Immensely loved by various communities across the globe. I went there tonight after leaving my Mother's for Christmas. I was told that there were 1000+ people at the place to see him on Christmas Eve. We went there on the 23rd as well, and there were dozens. He's just been released from the hospital to go home and die on his terms.


Jess was, in his heart, a happy and peaceful man. He loved what he did, and he loved the people he taught. Although he studied and taught the arts of fighting, he always taught us never to use it when it could be avoided -- but taught us to fight back when faced with it. Once of his favorite quotes comes from Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper. "Fight back! Whenever you are offered violence, fight back! The aggressor does not fear the law, so he must be taught to fear you. Whatever the risk, and at whatever the cost, fight back!"

Despite regular ass-whoopings during fight training, Jess is the only person I've known never to hurt me. Never to let me down, stab me in the back, or betray me in some form.

One of the best things he taught me was to find something I loved doing, and do it well. And, I did.

He was always there for me when I needed him, always willing to teach me what I needed to know, whether I knew I needed it or not.


My heart is broken, my core is sick with this.
I still need him.:(

I love you, Jess. You will always be in my heart, at my core. :sadwave::confused:

1.jpg


JESS1.JPG


JESS2.JPG
 

Kamen_Kaiju

smiling politely as they dream of savage things
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
86,806
Reaction score
266,100
sounds like a seriously cool dude that's lived a seriously cool life.

We should all be so lucky.

I know you're hurting,.... the guy sounds pretty legendary. Awesome you got to spend so much time with him.
 

Clump

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
829
Reaction score
927
Thanks for sharing Wolfe. He sounds like a guy who lived on his own terms and will leave on his own terms. The very definition of badass.

Sorry for your loss.
 

Rich

Non sequitur
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
27,574
Reaction score
76,206
I'm sorry, man; he sounds like a really cool guy.
 

7gtop

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
13,057
Reaction score
32,661
That's a tough one to swallow ...
Really kool souls are the most difficult to see on their way .

My heart goes out to you both .
 

cmh6122

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Messages
7,246
Reaction score
37,540
He will be with you till the final lights go out.
 

lespaul01

Banned
Joined
Mar 12, 2011
Messages
16,929
Reaction score
16,600
Sorry bout yer freind Wolfe. he looks like a real Character. RIP
 

Kezman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
4,594
Reaction score
4,237
Sorry about your friend, sounds like he led a full life. R.I.P
 

matthew bear

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
5,663
Reaction score
7,451
Sorry for your loss... Sounds like you had a huge blessing in your friend.
 

LPG

I PLAY LIVE
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
4,229
Reaction score
7,708
Hey Wolfe

Seriously cool guy.

I'm sorry man. Very much.

He'll live on in you .

Peace brother
Kevin
:)
 

fairlanericky

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,597
Reaction score
1,065
Condolences Wolfe. Obvious he had a huge impact on you and your life.


Ric
 

Thumpalumpacus

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
76,200
Reaction score
187,690
Take solace in having known him, in having learned from him.

My sympathies.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

smiling politely as they dream of savage things
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
86,806
Reaction score
266,100
I have to say in the light of day and re-reading the OP,...

that is without doubt the coolest Eulogy I've ever read. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be, but it was.

I hope we're all lucky enough to mean that much to people when our time comes.

There's a lot of love and respect in the OP and it shows.

RIP Mr. Roe
 

redgreed

Senior Member
Joined
May 28, 2012
Messages
616
Reaction score
366
Jesus Gonna make up my dyin bed. - Robert Plant.
sorry to hear it.
 

Latest Threads



Top