Friday, January 23, 2009

On a layer of air

Last night as I packed to leave for this trip I saw a spot about Laird's passing on the television news. They showed video (click on Sports with Kevin video thumbnail for Jan. 22. Video of Laird starts at 3:07) of him winning state titles in track and cross country. What I saw was exactly what I've repeated in my mind over and over the last few days. Light and fast, smooth and powerful seemingly running on a layer of air just above the ground the others behind were touching.

As hard as its been talking and giving info to others about Laird it has been encouraging that he is so well remembered and liked by so many. That he touched so many in a positive way is hugely rewarding for me to know. I know what a positive effect he had on me and I'm glad that others were also able share that as well. 

As I look at my blog report I can see where people access my blog and where they come from. Many have been looking for information about Laird and found their way here. And the places those people are come from all over the US and several countries. The traffic to my blog has been ten times usual as those people stop and read about Laird. Again, I hope I do justice to those memories and I can't possibly describe how much I appreciate all the different comments I continue to receive from all.

I had a chance to talk this morning with my friend Harry Johnson. Harry and I coached cross country together, but at different schools in Anchorage. Despite having "competing" teams Harry and I were of like mind about many things and we have also covered many miles together. Harry understands better than anyone how different my relationship with Laird was than the usual coach/athlete relationship. In fact, the kayaking photo on the last post was while we were staying at Harry's place in Cabo. It was hugely comforting to talk with Harry and have him know how I feel. Thanks Harry.

I was able to talk with Laird's wife, Karen, for the first time last night. Despite what a great guy Laird was, he was completely lucky to end up with someone as sweet as Karen. You are simply not going to find anyone sweeter and kinder (or cuter) than her. As she didn't meet Laird until after college I don't think she understood how many people knew and thought so highly of Laird. Despite her grief, I hope she is able to come away from the memorial with a better understanding of how many people knew the person she loved in the same way she did. I also know she and Laird's family will need the prayers of all of you as they try to cope with this.

Laird's memorial is scheduled for Tuesday at the Tanglewood Golf Clubhouse in the evening (sorry I don't know exact time yet).

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a DHS '95 grad and a fellow Oregon Duck, I'm sorry to read this news. Although we weren't good friends, I remember Laird as a very warm and friendly guy. He was very kind and polite. I was always impressed with Laird because he never got wrapped up in high school drama. Please pass my condolences on to his family.
Heidi (Loranger) Embley

Jocelyn said...

JC-
I wish you safe travels to see Kaarin. I just spoke with Ryan Moody and am glad that you three will be able to meet up and share stories.

I'm so saddened by the news. I always admired Laird and had so much fun with him in high school. We were both bad about staying in touch, but I loved bumping into him over the years. My heart goes out to Karen and the Prossers.

Please post the details of the memorial when you know them.
Take care,
Jocey

John said...

JC,
Thanks for continuing to share your memories of Laird. As with you, I am blown away by the number of people that have "heard the news," and are sharing their condolences.
An update on the memorial location. The previous time and location was Tanglewood at 4 on Tuesday. There is now talk of changing the location to Kincaid Chalet. This is still up in the air. Please check back on JC's or my posts for a final location. We should have a decision by Saturday evening. ADN(adn.com) obit will also be coming out in the next day or two and will include time and location of the memorial.
JC, please contact me if you have the oppertunity in the next few days. I have searched high and low for a number for you.
I am at coachjohnangst@gmail.com, 603-489-3823 or http://runnerjohnak.blogspot.com/
We'll talk soon.
John Angst

Anonymous said...

Hi JC, I went to high school with Laird, and I sent information through myspace and facebook to fellow 95 grads. From those who have read my post about Laird, I wanted to share with you some comments left on my page.

Laird Prosser
Share
Thu 7:53pm | Edit Note | Delete
Hi everyone; just wanted to share some sad news. I heard that Laird Prosser passed away earlier this week. I wasn't very close friends with him in high school, and I have not seen him since high school. What I do remember was how intelligent, reserved, and balanced he was. I just wanted to share and express my condolences.

:(
Rachel

UPDATE: ADN wrote an article about him in the sports page, and also his obituary, for those of you who haven't seen the links...

http://www.adn.com/sports/prep/xcrunning/story/666864.html

http://www.legacy.com/adn/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=123236230
Written on Thursday - Comment - Show Comments (10)Hide Comments (10)
Erin Lund Homer at 8:03pm January 22
Thank you. Does anyone have any details as to how? I remember Laird kicking butt in cross country running & track. He also had a great smile and was always friendly to everyone. I'm really sad to hear this news.

Erin
Jamie Moser at 9:17pm January 22
All I was able to find was this blog...
http://jchighspeed.blogspot.com/
Tracy Calhoun at 5:40am January 23
Thanks for sharing this Rachel. It's hard to imagine someone our age passing away. I haven't kept in touch with him since high school either, but I do remember what a great guy he was to be around.
Ray Perkins at 9:00am January 23
Thanks Rachel, so sad though...he was just a good person all around.
John Fernandez at 2:13pm January 23
Ahh, man....one of the fastest cross coutry runners back in the day! I think I remember him with braces, too.
Heidi Loranger Embley at 4:35pm January 23
I remember he was always so mellow and polite. He never seemed to be surrounded by the typical high school drama. I"m sorry to hear that he passed away.
Dawn Nam Wilson at 8:02pm January 23
Thanks for sharing Rachel! I am stunned and saddened by the news. I wasn't as close to him as others, but my memories of him were always positive.
Jonathan Thyng at 7:08pm January 24
Wow! I remember him all too well from his running around the track for our warm up in gym class! A great guy who expressed great humility as a cross country champ in high school.
Jonathan Thyng at 7:18pm January 24
From the video posted, Laird past away from complications with diabetes.
Tammy Gibson at 8:20pm January 24
Thank you so much for sharing this sad news Rachel. I had no idea of this tragedy and my deepest condolences to all of his friends and family. I have not seen him since high school but he was a great friend and amazing athlete..I am so sorry.

robyn said...

hi jc,
what tragic news to find out. kevin and i were both stunned. kevin got to know laird a bit at jerry's wedding this fall and i remember what a great guy he was from high school. our thoughts go out to his wife, his family and all the friends he touched.
robyn egloff and kevin jacobsen