Of all the characters I've met on the internet over the years, the message board character known as "Coolidge" was definitely one of the most interesting, intelligent, and entertaining.
He was a HUGE Tiger fan, but also a huge fan of Bonanza, and he had a glib sense of humor that swam against the tide of cheap laughs that often pass for comedy these days. He was an absolute joy to talk to, and while I never met him or knew him at all outside of message board interaction, you could just tell that he was a character offline as well as on. This was confirmed by the wide variety of people who called him their "real life" friend.
For most of the time I knew Coolidge, he was very sick, though he was very circumspect about what was wrong with him. He passed away late last week. He was 47 years old. His obituary mentioned "Tiger Fans" among those friends who survived him. He was never married, had little remaining family, and lost track of many of his friends when became a Katrina refugee. I know that many members of TigerDroppings attended his wake and/or funeral, including many who'd never met him.
I wanted to get back on TigerDroppings so I could pay my respects to him along with everyone else, but my emails to the administration have gone unanswered. I don't know why, but I don't ascribe it to any kind of personal problem with me. Certainly my online transgressions over at TigerDroppings are much less severe than others' who managed to get back in management's good graces. For whatever reason, my own entreaties have been overlooked.
I almost forgot about this situation until I saw this thread over at TigerDroppings, wondering if Coolidge was watching the game from his current perch. The reminder damn near brought a tear to my eye.
He once said he was looking forward to the opportunity to meet me, but that opportunity never came. I regret that very much. I'm thinking about you, Coolidge, and I know you would have loved to witness last night's game. I regret you left just a little too soon for it.