This evening I discovered that somebody with whom I grew up died overnight last night. I have known him since sixth or seventh grade as well as his brother to a lesser extent and his even younger sister to even less an extent. However, we all used to hang out with our moms together and go to places like Hazard Canyon over at Montaña de Oro State Beach near Los Osos, CA.
I watched him grow up at Atascadero Junior High School and initially at Atascadero High School as he was a grade below me. It seems to me he disappeared after awhile which as it turns out was due to his transferring to the Continuation High School in Atascadero.
We lost touch for about two decades after that but reconnected on Facebook and at a social function in Atascadero a few years ago. Through mutual friends in the know, I became aware in more recent years that he had been a minor drug dealer in Atascadero in his younger years. Apparently, he had long abused drugs and alcohol for much of his life. From his rough appearance and premature aging as well as how he spoke and his mind functioned it was clear to me this was quite true.
Last night he died in his sleep of cardiac failure as his heart finally gave out after all he put it through over the course of his 43 or so years. It was haunting and melancholly to look at his Facebook page tonight and see his last post was at 9:57 p.m. I "liked" it and posted the response, "Oh Joe, please go to a hospital right now and not to sleep...." I suppose it would not have mattered if he did.