This post has been made for the “P-1s” of the Tom Leykis Show, in memory of Alex Gavrus, also known as Alex from Millbrae
“You are going to die.”
“The most important thing in life is other human beings.”
Hello all. I normally say I hope you are well when I write personalized letters like this, and I still have that hope, but this is being written in response to a death. Death. It’s a funny thing if you think about it long enough. After all, it’s one thing every living being has in common on this planet, literally the last event we all will have to face, and yet, it’s the one that is least planned for. It’s the one constant we will all face, while being the one that most of us never see coming. It could be a tractor trailer veering into oncoming traffic, right in your lane. It could be from a surprise aneurysm. It could be without warning at all, Death coming to claim you in your sleep.
That’s what happened to a man named Alex Gavras, age 45, in Millbrae, CA.
I’m not going to pretend I knew him; I didn’t. I never met the man, never talked to him. I only knew of him through listening to his call on either the Tom Leykis Show, or the Gary aNd Dino Show. Therefore I cannot say anything about him personally. Based on what I have heard about him, either through his own words or the very heartfelt remarks by his fellow P-1s, he led one helluva life, and I wouldn’t dare try to sully their words by trying to repeat them here; if you want to hear it, get a subscription to Premium Tom and look for the show on March 20th 2017. But based on what I heard about him, I see a lot of parallels between him and myself, and while I don’t want to take the attention off of him, I feel I have to make at least a few of them known; this is one reason why I feel I am writing this.
He started in an environment that he hated, one that was indifferent and unsupportive, if not outright hostile. He sought out better opportunities for himself, and through the voice of a father figure, he got the motivation to seek it out., He grew to eventually not give one flying fuck about what other people thought of him, and focused more on building himself up and what made him happy. He grew to recognize what was most important in life, and that was experiences in life and other human beings. Human beings like the P-1s, like Patty, Marshall from Pleasanton, Phil in L.A., Juan in Seattle, Paul from Sydney, Tom Leykis, Gary Zebransky, Dean J. Demilio and Michael Timpson, among many others. Experiences like moving across the country for a better life and more opportunities, visiting different places on the planet, trying different foods and places and events and every experience he could find.
I’ve said before that I’d rather live for 50 years than simply survive for 90.The man lived more of a life in his 45 years than so very many people do even when they live to 90. He loved every single minute of his life, and sought to enjoy every single moment of it, every experience, every conversation, every single emotion it had to offer. Even when he was angry, he was happy to be alive. And he kept on living, kept his plans going, right until the end. And from that, there are two things I wanted to talk about, and I hope they help.
1. He didn’t seek happiness; he made it
I see so much waste of life on a daily basis than even I care to look at. Can’t say where yet; let’s just say it’s around a major metropolitan area with a “diverse” community. I see so many people that live their lives vicariously. They live it through the local sports teams, the latest hot TV show or movie, the new trend in pop culture, the political story of the day, whatever religion they follow whether it’s spiritual or not, whatever diet or exercise, fill in that blank with whatever pop culture relic you can think of. Alex didn’t do that. He wasn’t constantly on the hunt for happiness or purpose, thinking it was just over the horizon; he WAS that happiness, and brought it wherever he went. He wasn’t a person with a Hole that needed to be filled; he was a Whole person that helped fill everyone he came in contact with; with happiness, wisdom, laughter, well being, and hope. He could take joy in the smallest things many of us take for granted, because he had made peace within himself, and loved his life, and the many people he sought to spend his time with, right up until the end. He realized what was important to all of us and that is each other, and he sought to spend as much time as he could around his fellow P-1s. And it is that, among the many reasons above, for the second point:
2. Alex from Millbrae will Never Die
I gave a speech kind of like this at my grandmother’s funeral a few years back, and since I came up with it mostly on the spot I don’t remember most of it, but here’s the gist of it: Ghosts do exist. But they don’t exist like they do in the movies. All of us, all of the people like Alex, all that are Whole people, create ghosts of ourselves. And while that sounds wacky, the way we create ghosts of ourselves is through our actions, through how we interact with others and how we treat them, through our own achievements, how we pass off our expertise and how we help others, those truly special moments we spend with others. Just talking about Alex, just through the Tom Leykis Show itself his legacy will live forever, not to mention all of the people that called in today to talk about him, all of the people he affected, all of the work he put in at his job, all of the places he visited and the people that heard his songs. Just because he’s no longer around to put in new content in this world doesn’t mean the content he put out will go away; it will live on forever, in my heart, and in yours.
And so, he lives on. I will never be able to interact with him the way you guys did. That opportunity has been lost to be forever. But I will always know of him, because of the imprint he has left on the world; through you, through the show, through the influences he had none of us can even see. SO make no mistake: he may not be among us anymore, but he is still alive, and he has done things to change the world we may never understand, ways that are invisible to us. But invisible is not the same as nonexistent. Everyday I rely on new technology, and listen to the shows, and so from now I can’t help but wonder: just how much is this from Alex’s influence?
How much of what he has done is in this room with me right now? Maybe I won’t know, won’t ever know., But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
He may not be among the living anymore. But Alex from Millbrae is alive, through us, and from what he did while he was here. That may not be much comfort right now, but hold on to what he gave you, and look around for what he influenced. Through the stories surrounding him, the technological advances he made, the songs he put out, the times he got you to come out and take that one experience you didn’t even know you wanted to take, and maybe just as important, the many many people like me, who never even met him, he lives on. That spark of life he had, that he gave to so many people that he not only talked to and was friends with, but the vast majority of people he didn’t even know, that spark will never die. And it is up to us to make sure that spark of life, the one he fought so hard to forge and share with us, will never be forgotten. Call me crazy, but even though I never met him, his life has been an inspiration for my own, and I refuse to not live up to the example he set for all of us. I suggest you do the same, for his memory’s sake.
RIP Alex “From Millbrae” Gavras.