From One Boner to Another, R.I.P.

kirk_andrewBack in the day, my best friends in high school called me Boner.  Every once in a while, someone still does, but the older I get, the less frequently it occurs.  It makes me smile. (There was a while when I was way past high school that it made me cringe, but now that I am way, WAY, past high school, I smile again!).  There are lots of theories how and why I was called that.  All of those theories are more entertaining than the truth.

The truth was, my friend Craig Berosh, proverbial E.H.S. jokester, was a fan of Growing Pains.  He called me Boner because he heard the name on the show.  And it stuck.  I mean really stuck!  It even got variations along the way.  “Stabonis Marchalonus” and “Bonarus@aol.com” come to mind.  “Bonner” for people that couldn’t read.  Some college friend of friends that wound up at my parents home a few years after High School called my mom, “Mrs. Boner,” as it was so widespread they did not even think it was a nickname, but a name.   It was a funny nickname to be sure, and hey, Craig was also a fan of WONDER YEARS, so my geeky 80’s ass could have been “PAUL” just as easily–so I dodged a bullet there!

Even though I never watched the show, I always felt a special kinship with my nickname, namesake.  And he, like many things from that era, is something I have not thought about in quite some time.  Until Andrew Koenig  went missing.  I work in New Media, so not a week goes by that I am not sifting through a Tweet or a Link or a Video about some child star, down on his luck.  That and porn pretty much are the foundations that built the internet.  After over a decade of making my living on the web,  I am pretty immune to both.  But, I got totally sucked into the Andrew Koenig  story, for no other reason than that we shared a funny nickname.

I was really pulling for Andrew Koenig.  I was touched by the current celebrities that came out to offer help and later condolences.   While I was not surprised that he died, (He was missing a good week before I even caught wind of it.) I was surprised to learn his Dad was the guy from Star Trek, and yea, I have to admit I was surprised his Dad doesn’t really talk with an accent he does in the films.  But the most surprising thing of all, was the grace with which his parents spoke only hours after they got the worst news any parent can get.

These are dark times we are living in for so many people.  The “life of quiet desperation” Thoreau wrote about 150 years ago, isn’t so quiet right now.  We see the desperation everywhere we look.  Every day that I read the news I wonder;  Would this have happened 5 years ago?  From the guy flying a plane into the IRS to Koenig.  Tough times turn up the heat on whatever ails you.  And for some, that’s over the edge.

And in the saddest most desperate hour of their lives, those people on that edge are who the Koenig’s spoke to in their press conference after the death of their son.  They made pleas for those that battle the demons their son did to “get help.”  They made pleas for those that know people like their son to “get them help.”  The grace in that genuine and selfless message was inspiring, and if good can come of something so tragic, maybe it’s the spread of that message.  Get Help.  Get Them Help.   R.I.P Boner.

For those that can’t see the video player, link is here.

2 thoughts on “From One Boner to Another, R.I.P.

Leave a Reply to Kathy Cancel reply