Dan Gisvold at Bear Creek

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Band of Brothers

He found out that Dan was dead because he went looking for him on the internet. He was unable to reach him by phone and he was concerned. He didn't have any other family member's numbers so he went hunting. He found this blog. And he was devastated.

He had known Dan since 1970 when they met in Germany. Dan was in the Air Force and he was in the Army. They were both from the San Joaquin Vally. Dan from Lindsay and he was from Coalinga. The closest he ever got to Lindsay, before he met Dan, was in a high school baseball game in Tulare.

But being in the service in the 70's brought them together for a lifetime. For Dan's lifetime.

This is Smitty.

Smitty and his wife Janine (hope I spelled that right)
He could not make it to Camp Nelson for the Farewell. But he came here. To San Luis Obispo. To see me. To talk to me and my family. About Dan.

And talk he did.

He talked about hitting the skunk with my mother's car and my mom making them buy cases of tomato juice and scrubbing the undercarriage of the car with it. Then making them lunch.

He talked about hanging out in Sacramento.

He talked about Dan coming to visit him in Minneapolis.

He talked about Dan's intellectual curiosity.

He talked about Dan's love of music. He talked about how Dan talked about Vocal Arts. He promised to send me links to cd's that Dan had sent him.

He talked about how Dan could make a friend out of just about anybody.

He talked about how Dan was the most intelligent, smart, articulate truck driver on the planet.

Smitty talked for a long, long time. His very best friend, his brother was gone.

Smitty is coming to the Vocal Arts Ensemble rehearsal tonight.

Smitty has a new friend. It is me.


  1. Aw, man, Smitty, I'm sorry about how you found out. That had to be a gut punch... but that you found Gael? You also found some awesomeness...

  2. =sigh= Max didn't sign out last time he was online, obviously...

  3. What Max/Thumper said.
    I found out about an old friend the same way. Found his obit when I Googled his name.

    I am so glad Smitty came to share Dan stories with you. That is a great gift.