Today is just pretty sad because the reality of Jonny Z’s death is sinking in. Almitra told me about it tearfully on the phone yesterday afternoon, and since then we’ve gotten basically no further information about it. I feel like we’re all holding our breath to find out what happened, but I know that won’t make it less tragic. This is the guy who printed our Tidalwaves t-shirts all crooked last season. This is the guy who was always pushing artwork and vegan cookies on you from behind the counter at Nonesuch. This is the guy who was waving at us and making eyes at us from the 821 kitchen this weekend. This is the guy who no matter where you saw him, he was always doing something to try to make you laugh or smile. I’m feeling kind of selfish about the whole thing because I’m disappointed that I won’t get to see him again. But I know that there are a lot of others who were way closer to him, in whose lives he was a most necessary fixture.
As much as I know that a lot of standard Richmond events (backyard cookouts, Best Friends Days, Bizarre Markets, parties, Rock Lottos, weddings, etc.) aren’t going to be the same without him, at least we can be confident that he’d be angry to see us moping about it for long. He was so posi that we can’t help but do anything but celebrate his life, and carry on with our pursuits (especially the charitable ones) doubly strong because of him. I feel like that’s what he would do if one of us died.
Blah blah blah, I feel totally unqualified to eulogize Jonny Z. Really. I just feel like I have to talk about this because it’s what’s on my mind today.
So let me just echo some of Ward’s words, from an email forwarded by Kelsey:
He was a beautiful, thoughtful, and [sic] carrying man who always wore a smile
and always was thinking of others. The fact that he was riding his bike
home from a fundraising event that he organized for Food Not Bombs
only underscores this fact. While we have no idea what the circumstances
surrounding his death were, this is certain: it was a senseless, reckless,
and selfish act which took his life, an act that stood in stark contrast
to Jonny’s life of dedication, love, and unending creative and positive energy.
He was loved by everyone who knew him, and will be missed deeply by
people throughout the world.
Jonny Z was the sole organizer for Saturday’s Bizarre Market, and the
idea of holding it without him seems unbearable. However, as friends of
his gathered yesterday to mourn his death and celebrate his life, I was
encouraged to hold it as a memorial to recognize what an amazing
person we all had as part of our lives.