Monday, September 6, 2010

SEAN ROWE: 1964-2010

Sean Rowe (1964-2010)

My friend, Sean Rowe said the following thing to me. He was encouraging me to write a book and I said to him, "I'm afraid too many people will have to die before I can really write the book. Or I will get sued!" And Sean's reply??

"Richard, when you sit down to write you don't have any friends. You can't worry about who you're going to offend. You MUST tell the truth as it comes."

Think about it. Thanks, Sean, forever.


(William Ernest Henley)

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Rest in peace, Sean


Roy said...

I'm a friend and former colleague of Sean's who only just learned of his passing. I'd been scouring the internet for more info when I read your poetic post, which I think he would have liked very much.

But I think that it is important to remember three things about Sean Rowe:

1) He loved a good prank
2) He loved a good story
3) He loved Mark Twain

In an autobiographical blurb on his website, Sean claims to have navigated the Mississippi River on a homemade raft. Whether or not he actually accomplished such a feat, or some version of it, the man clearly had Huck Finn in his blood.

When first I learned of Sean's death, I thought of the last lines from Huck's book:
"I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before."

Like Huck, Sean warn't about to be sivilized.

Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly could have been thinking of Sean when, believing Tom to be dead, she admitted that "he warn't BAD, so to say -- only mischEEvous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum, you know. He warn't any more responsible than a colt. HE never meant any harm, and he was the best-hearted boy that ever was..."

But the more I thought about it, that passage nagged at me. It comes from one of the most memorable scenes in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a chapter or two before the title character makes a theatrical entrance at his own funeral.

Is it crazy to cling to the belief that perhaps Sean Rowe is NOT gone? That, just maybe, he staged his own death so that he could watch us all mope and mourn and carry on? Could it be that when Sean senses the time is right, he will nonchalantly saunter back into our lives?

You have to admit, it would be the Ultimate Sean Rowe Story. The more I consider the possibility, the more that I like it.

We're onto you, Sean. You can come out of hiding now.

Roy said...

Um, my name is Todd Anthony.

Stephen Hawks said...

I have the same feeling, against the harsh truth, or why would i be doing a search and find this post. I was one of many friends and knew him even as a teen. Just the other night I dreamed I saw him chopping wood alive as you or I and I was so angry, I took one of the logs and beat him with it. (Rather uncharacteristic of me as I tend to externalize and then explode verbally.) I am sometimes aware of his presence. The realm of the living intersects with the realm of spirit, thus the emotional uncertainty.

pseudonym said...

He continues to break my heart.

Anonymous said...

He called me once, supposedly from a commercial jet he planned to commandeer), but I figured we wouldn't run into each other as long as I was living in WA. That conversation stuck w/me for a long time. It was a funny talk. We laughed together as he described his "plan", but I couldn't shake the feeling of wanting to snatch him up w/reassurances that everything would be okay. Fate recently put me in N. GA. Two days ago I remembered Sean was in NC. I wanted to talk to him about Horace Alderman. Sean's piece "The Gallows and the Deep" was about the hanging of my uncle Horace.
I didn't know him well, but from the 1st time I spoke to him, he broke my heart. A special insight into the world & all its irony is a hard thing to keep a lid on sometimes.

Guy Seeking Truth said...

The raft on the river is true. There is also info online about it. I knew both Sean and the person he did that with, in high school. He had the same impression on you then as he not surprisingly did later in life.

"pseudonym," why is that?