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Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil)

 

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hookitt  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:31 PM
Post #51 of 200 (5007 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Classic Heller [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Thanks for the good skydives, conversation and letting me take over teaching your girlfriend to pack. :)

I remember landing from the few skydives we did together thinking... "Now THAT... was fun"

Sigh...

You were my brothers coach instructor and he speaks very highly of that time and of later wisdom.

So long Cliff. We'll miss you.


TheAnvil  (D 26919)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:36 PM
Post #52 of 200 (4998 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry for your loss. Jen and everyone - my sympathies. What a terrible loss for everyone.

Frown


packerbarbie  (D 24253)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #53 of 200 (4979 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I’m still trying to register all of what has happened over this last weekend!

Cliff, I didn’t know you well, but it was always nice to see you and fly with you. The last time I had the pleasure of talking to you and skydive with you was at the 06 Byron Boogie. Now, I can’t believe you are gone too. Unbelievable!!

Thank you for all the fun skydives. My thoughts are with you, your friends and family. You will be sorely missed!

Eternally blue skies. Fly Free with the angels.


lovelife22  (D 41499)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #54 of 200 (4981 views)
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Re: [sfc] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

If you, or anyone else, finds video of him. I would love to see it, and I'm sure lots of other people would as well.

I met Cliff after he moved out to CA at Hollister, when he moved off to law school in Davis The Doctor threw this video together. In Cliff style he complained it did not have enough of "him" in it.
The last conversation I had with him was at thanksgiving, he was telling me about this watches (chronographs no less).

http://video.google.com/...7729599974&hl=en

If anyone can host a 65MB file I have a higher res version of this.

Just read the news of Cliff...Very sad!

Simon thanks for posting the video. I also met Cliff in Hollister and was always afraid to debate w/him b/c he intimidated me so much! Law school was very fitting for him--His family is in my thoughts and prayers today.

I attached an old photo from 2004, our "Hollister Hybrid" Smile

Blue Skies Cliff!
Attachments: HollisterHybridRecord.jpg (92.9 KB)


kenz  (Student)

Jan 2, 2007, 1:23 PM
Post #55 of 200 (4941 views)
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Re: [Rebecca] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

i am very sorry to hear about such a loss... heartfelt condolences to all that were affected!


Amazon  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 1:38 PM
Post #56 of 200 (4911 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

This was a reallly tough trip down to Eloy. When I came down from my load I was wondering what all the commotion was over to the west of the Main landing area. Unless I see the incident happening and can be of assistence I avoid the vicinity of accidents... but this one struck far too close to home when I walked towards my packer and saw Kristin crying and all shook up with blood on her from rendering assistance. At first I thought it was Jay since she was so upset. I have known them for a few years at Kapowsin. Finding out that it was Cliff AND Jay.. and no details... I was upset.... I was just stunned... you just cant put into words how much this affected all who knew him or who knew Jay and Kristin. All we can do at this point.. as we have had to do with SO MANY others is try and forget.... move on.... learn to live with our grief... and ALWAYS... remember the good times and good things about our friends.

Blues Cliff.... fly free up there.


skydemon2

Jan 2, 2007, 2:16 PM
Post #57 of 200 (4848 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sucks, Frown I had spent a few minutes talking to Cliff while waiting on our food that day, nothing deep just chit chat and talk of jumping later, but it is a reminder how fast things can change.....


(This post was edited by skydemon2 on Jan 2, 2007, 2:17 PM)


FallinAngel  (D 18432)

Jan 2, 2007, 2:21 PM
Post #58 of 200 (4834 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I am just sick over hearing the news about Cliff. He always seemed to know where a good time was happening. He showed up at so many DZs around the country. I'm glad that I got to share the skies, and a few dinners, with him. He was a unique person, and I will always remember him fondly.

My heartfelt sympathies to his family. We will never forget him.


fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 5:15 PM
Post #59 of 200 (4675 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My condolences go out to all who knew Cliff. You were a great teacher bro, and a great friend. I'm sorry I hadn't seen you in awhile. I miss you dude.

I've added my photos of Cliff to the norcal_skydiving Yahoo Group in our Photo section.

If anyone would like an original just let me know.

David Miller


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:33 PM)
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fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 5:50 PM
Post #60 of 200 (4638 views)
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Re: [fxstudio] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff in a quick nutshell (view attachment below). You were so much fun my man. Especially the last Beastie's concert that came to SF. Man what a blast you are to be around.


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:31 PM)
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ficus  (D 29186)

Jan 2, 2007, 6:06 PM
Post #61 of 200 (4615 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

It wasn't until I saw the pictures that I realized I did meet Cliff, however briefly, at the Byron Boogie this year.

Blue skies, man. I met Jen yesterday and she is being tough as nails for you.

Ficus


fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 6:26 PM
Post #62 of 200 (4592 views)
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Re: [lovelife22] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting the video!


Blue Skies Cliff you are terribly missed

David


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:32 PM)
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Elisha  (D 31656)

Jan 2, 2007, 7:27 PM
Post #63 of 200 (4522 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I only talked to the guy a couple of times, but he was a friendly enough guy. The most recent time was on 12/28 around noon before Evelyn and I fled the rain to jump at Perris 12/29.

I was thinking, "Hey, that's a Davis guy...I think his name is Cliff. I'll go say hi." I definitely saw those rough qualities you spoke of, but I'm generally pretty thick-skinned unless people are just, well, dicks and don't stop.

Blue Skies.


fallin_angel  (C 35659)

Jan 2, 2007, 8:41 PM
Post #64 of 200 (4461 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I just wanted to say a few words to pay my respects to Cliff.

He was one of my first instructors as well as a friend. He was quick to compliment your flying but just as quick to have a little talk with you if he felt you had done something even a little bit unsafe, but he was never condescending or mean about it. That's why I just can't believe this has happened to him.

I respected him so much as both a skydiver and a person. I am so glad I got to jump with him one last time at the Byron Boogie. That's the last time I had the pleasure of seeing him.

He will be missed by so many.

Sandy


vsecrets12

Jan 2, 2007, 8:57 PM
Post #65 of 200 (4452 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

hello all. i'm cliff's sister, vicky. i want to say thank you to all of you that have been sending your love and condolences. but even more so, to those of you that wrote on who my brother was to you. my younger brother russ and i have been reading and weeping. and has been cathardic in some way. the pictures and videos - keep em coming. i have not been able to watch any video yet - too painful, but i will when i'm ready. we are experiencing the most tremendous of loss here...words are not enough.
i hope to see some of you on sunday, if you can make it. please don't hesitate. all are welcome. and please introduce yourself!

marc - 12/12. you're in.

aviva - please get in touch with me. jen has my number.

take care everyone and be well. and most of all - tell the people you love - that you love them!!!

~vicky
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skydivexxl  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 9:57 PM
Post #66 of 200 (4415 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Vicky,

As one of Cliff's friends that won't be able to make it back east for the services, I hope you know that there are many of us out here that are with you guys in spirit. There are many stories, pictures and videos forthcoming, as well. We know this is an incredibly tough time for you, and anything you guys need, please don't hesitate to ask.

Andy


(This post was edited by skydivexxl on Jan 3, 2007, 12:02 AM)


Elisha  (D 31656)

Jan 2, 2007, 10:09 PM
Post #67 of 200 (4405 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll remember those black rimmed glasses.


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:57 PM
Post #68 of 200 (4369 views)
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Re: [fxstudio] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for those pics Dave! They made me cry...again. We started packing up Cliff's apartment today. I can't explain how bad this blows. See some of you in NYC.
Love
Aviva


villain  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 4:54 AM
Post #69 of 200 (4329 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey guys, remember how Cliff would start to tell you about this tv show or movie he watched and you'd say "yeah, I saw that one" but he'd keep telling you about it IN DETAIL, he'd go on and on. It was really annoying. I wish I could call him and have him annoy me. Crap, this just keeps getting worse.
Those pictures are great.
Hang in there everyone.
m


okalb  (D 22854)

Jan 3, 2007, 5:11 AM
Post #70 of 200 (4323 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Vicki,

Cliff and I worked together at CSFB for a few years before either of us started to skydive. One weekend I went up the the dropzone with a mutual friend and made my first jump. I was so excited when I came back to work Monday that it was all I could talk about. Cliff was one of the people I talked to about it. I suggested he try it and in typical Cliff fashion, he was there the following Saturday (after hounding me all week to give him a ride).

For the next few weeks, the only thing that got us through our days at work were our breakfast and lunchtime discussions about skydiving. Every Saturday I would drive cliff up to the DZ and we would jump. When we were both still AFF students, I decided to take my birthday off of work to go jump. Cliff immediately said he would join me, so we drove up to the Ranch and jumped. On that jump cliff hurt his leg and I had to bring him to the hospital. He wanted to go to the hospital in the city so he wouldn't be stranded up near the Ranch. The whole drive into the city we came up with stories to tell the doctors so the wouldn't know it happened skydiving. Football and falling out of a tree were top on the list. I dropped him off at the hospital and laughed my ass off when he showed up at work the next day with a cane.

I moved to Tampa and when he moved to Singapore we sort of lost touch. I got an email from him one day saying that he was coming to Florida to live for a while and needed a place to stay. He moved in with Laura and me a few weeks later. He lived with us for the next few months. I remember how excited he was the day I drove him to pick up that god awful purple PT Cruiser that he bought. Eventually he moved to the DZ. I was so happy for him when he decided to go to law school. I remember his cocky attitude when he told me he aced the LSATs.

Cliff was an obnoxious asshole who had no problem speaking his mind. He loved to argue more than just about anyone I know. I think most of the time he argued just for the sake of the argument and couldn't care less what side he was on, but he always had a way of putting things into perspective.

His passion for skydiving was stronger than anything I have seen in other jumpers. After 9 years and thousands of jumps, all he wanted to do was jump. Anytime anywhere and with anyone.

Anyway, I could go on like this for another few pages, but there is no point. He was my friend and I will miss him always.

Team Ho Ho forever!


lauras  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:11 AM
Post #71 of 200 (4300 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Dear Vicky,

I guess I got the "kinder, gentler" Cliff more often compared to most. Although there were many times I told him I was going to throttle him in his sleep while he lived with me & Oren, he'd smile broadly and squeeze a body part until he left bruises.

We only made perhaps a handful of jumps together so my memories of Cliff center around lounging on the sofa, drinking *thick* cups of coffee. I've never been more fully caffeinated as the 2 months he lived with us. There's a huge coffee stain on the guest bedroom carpet that he confessed to about 6 weeks after he made it. He told me I could put a potted plant over ther stain. Right in front of the closet door.

We had loooong discussions about law school rankings, application essays, patent law vs what I thought he should focus on, M&A and corp fin. I pushed the whole Sand Hill Drive / Wilson Sonsini angle and how after practicing for 5 to 7 years, he could go become a tech VC and blow everyone out of the water. He certainly spoke with enough authority, even when he was pulling it out of his ass!

I have some of his PT cruiser recall notices that we still get at the house. I can't tell you how many times I told him not to buy that thing! And then the monster truck! Oy!

We didn't see each other often or talk on the phone, but his emails were always a riot and brought a smile to my face without fail. I am grateful Cliff walked through my life.

Love, Laura


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:15 AM
Post #72 of 200 (4298 views)
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Re: [villain] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Hey guys, remember how Cliff would start to tell you about this tv show or movie he watched and you'd say "yeah, I saw that one" but he'd keep telling you about it IN DETAIL, he'd go on and on. It was really annoying. I wish I could call him and have him annoy me. Crap, this just keeps getting worse.
Those pictures are great.
Hang in there everyone.
m

Oh, Jesus, not only would he tell you about it in DETAIL, but he would know the references in EVERYTHING. He would see some detail in the corner that only he and the director noticed, and tell you how that episode of South Park connects to some TV show from the 1970s, and how that is actually connected to Beowulf, and then how the Church of the Sub Genius would eventually adapt it.

Cliff is really annoying me now. He hasn't called me back in days.

I went to work yesterday. I sat in my chair and stared out the window for 8 hours. I cried for about 4 of them. The other 4 were spent staring out the window, reading dropzone.com, and talking on the phone to all these fucking awesome people who keep calling me to make me feel better, and to try and get me to make them feel better. I suck at that, so sorry to anyone who called and I made it worse.

I fucking hate this. This sucks more than anything has ever sucked before. This is not fucking fair. I go from angry to sad to numb to delusional and back again.

In the delusional times I actually truly believe that this is all a hoax. I even tell people that Cliff is coming to visit me later. I think I may have scared a few people that way.

In the angry times I am totally destructive. I hope that I dont smash anything too expensive.

The numb times are probably the scariest. I just turn every emotion off.

The sad times are the worst though. I keep watching the freeflying video of him, and when he reaches his hand forward to dock with the cameraman, my hand involuntarily goes toward the screen, as if I could reach into it, dock with him, and pull him back out here.

Then he tracks away and I cant stop sobbing "come back Cliff".

Great... here I go again.

I'm fucking losing it. I'm really fucking losing it. It is not getting better like everyone said it would. It is getting way worse. Every fucking GODDAMN FUCKING MOMENT IS WORSE THAN THE LAST ONE FUCK FUCK FUCK! It is not getting better at all. How the fuck can it? Do the math. The moment I got "the call" was Cliff minus one moment. This is Cliff minus 5 fucking days.

He was supposed to be Uncle Cliff to my kids. We were supposed to get old, and get thrown out of old folks homes together for slapping the nurses on the asses. We planned on becoming dirty old men.

Cliff was like a translator for me. I'd say something fucked up, or do something fucked up, and as I walked away, he'd explain to everyone a) that I wasn't as much of a prick as I seemed, and b) what I really meant by what I said or did.

Now I'm just going to be that fucking weird dirty old man. Old mean old man Marco. With nobody there to tell everyone that I actually dont mean what I said. I just dont have enough time between now and a reasonable life expectancy to make a new best friend like him.

this is fucking bullshit. bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Ok, lets see if I can tell a funny story.

So he and I are in Thailand, and well, lets just say I like Asian women. I'm sitting in a bar with him, and some girl is on my lap, and I said "Cliff, you know what I love about these girls?"

He looks at me and says "the pulse?"

Fucker!

We were in Bangkok. Outside the bar we're in, the "Bug man" is selling snacks. Crickets, scorpions, beetles, mealworms, and roaches. Yes, big huge fried roaches.

We grab a bag of each. Seeing cliff eating scorpions (which glowed flourescent green under the black light) was hilarious. We finally eat everything except the two big roaches. We stared at each other for a few seconds and then just decided to go for it. I do have pictures. We chewed, and chewed, and got more and more grossed out. It was like eating rotten ricotta mixed with ammonia, with a few grains of sand and some peanut shells thrown in.

At the same moment we both puked and got thrown out of the bar. We laughed our asses off as we stumbled out into the street, picking pieces of bugs out of our teeth, washing down the taste of bug puke with cold Singha. And as gross as that was, girls were grabbing us asking "you have girlfriend thailand?"

Nothing like eating bugs, drinking beer, and bird-dogging bar girls, with your best friend.

There is something special about a friendship when you can tell a story about eating bugs with your friend, and it isnt a story from when you are 5 years old, its a story from your 30s.

I feel a little better now...


danniel  (D 17550)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:20 AM
Post #73 of 200 (4289 views)
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Re: [okalb] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess this is where the Singapore segment of his life comes in. When he moved here in the late 90s, he attempted to jump with a new group of skydivers, but, it never materialized. Then he got in touch with me and somehow, we clicked. From then on, Cliff was present on a lot of our trips to Malaysia, Lido and Bali, Indonesia. He made an impression on a lot of people with his flying abilities and also his honest personality with me. As mentioned by others, Cliff has the habit of arguing (some of which I really enjoyed as it was thought provoking) about almost anything under the sun. We had quite a few arguments on how student training and canopy skills were to be taught (he only had a couple hundred jumps then!!! and no ratings too). But, he always had a sensible take on certain issues and because of his natural desire to argue, and at the same time, learn, it did not surprise me to find out that he had gone on to become a great instructor. We all went our separate ways when he had to move back to the US and we only had a few emails exchanged thereafter. It saddens me that in the world of skydiving, where we are all far flung, that we sometimes connect again in the most unfortunate of circumstances. I have, and will miss you dearly, my friend Cliff. Until we meet again where you can teach me to freefly...

PS. He is the only non-Asian that I know of that loves DURIANS! And lots of it too...oh, and he enjoyed announcing his burping and farting after gorging the fruit...


(This post was edited by danniel on Jan 3, 2007, 6:29 AM)


josambro

Jan 3, 2007, 6:33 AM
Post #74 of 200 (4275 views)
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Re: [danniel] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Even at 16 he was a self-confident, supremely assured bastard, and part of the reason I hung out with him was in the hopes that some of that would rub off on me. That and the drugs. Oh yes, the high grade weed, the pharmaceutical/CIA grade LSD, the nitrous oxide. Endless. It was, after all, New York City, at the height of the Reagan presidency.

Cliff didn’t have a mantra in those days, but if he did it might have been 'maintain.' No matter what the circumstance, no matter what kind of fiendish chemicals were competing for oxygen in our post-pubescent bloodstreams. There is no excuse for a freak-out, none whatsoever. At times this could be taken for a lack of compassion, this druggie existentialism. My most powerful memory, perhaps one that shaped me more than any other, comes from this time. It was a spring evening, perhaps nine PM and Clifford and I met on the Staten Island ferry and split four hits of acid two way. We went back to my mother’s apartment and stowed the rest of the evening’s supplies – four oil-cans of Foster’s Lager and a 24 pack of nitrous oxide – and headed out to the Silver lake park golf course. We were high, very, very high, and we smoked pot in that way that acid-eaters do, breathing the smoke as if it were air, feeling nothing but absolute drug bliss Clifford mentioned that he had more acid, two more hits, and I convinced him that the prudent thing to do would be to eat them as well. Maybe I said something like “It’s dangerous to be carrying stuff like that around.”


The park grew too bright, too filled with nefarious potential, and we both realized too late that the extra acid had perhaps not been as prudent an idea as it had seemed at the time. There was the matter of the lager, and the nitrous. Both would be needed, and soon. We walk / stumbled back to the front door of my second story home (mother away somewhere, which was probably for the best) where I discovered that my key was not. Pockets picked. Searched. Roundly like an octopus, hands in one than another, and back again, slips of paper, coins, assorted not-key items. Panic. Heat rising behind eyes until everything tinged crimson. In the category of very bad things, this was the very bad…door not…red laughing, malicious whispers. Tangling, everything was tangled, there was no getting out of it. The drug had hold, bad. Needed to grab something.

“I’m going to freak out.” I announced.

“If you do I'll just leave you here.”

No compassion. Yes. But Clifford Heller was not one to eat heavy psychedelics with weaklings. I had known this from the start. Ergo - MAINTAIN. His words were like a sword cutting through my own internal Gordian Knot.

Suddenly the evil dissipated, just like that.

“So…what your saying is that total meltdown is not a good option?”

“No,” Cliff replied. “Definitely not.”

Plan. Action. March forth.

“Lets go find it,” I said, sensing that my keen grasp of logistics would impress Clifford. After all, the chance of two severely deranged acidheads locating a four inch long key on a golf course at midnight was extremely high.

Oddly enough, we did not locate the key, though after several hours of searching I did remember seeing a bright red wooden ladder tied to a gate somewhere, the existence of which made ingress into the sanctum and consumption of beer and nitrous possible (albeit after the optimum peak for maximum enjoyment).

I learned many things from Cliff Heller. “Meltdown is never a good option” was only one of them.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 7:15 AM
Post #75 of 200 (4231 views)
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Re: [danniel] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
PS. He is the only non-Asian that I know of that loves DURIANS! And lots of it too...oh, and he enjoyed announcing his burping and farting after gorging the fruit...

I remember sitting in a Durian stand in Singapore eating my first (of many) durians with Cliff. A crowd of asians stopped and stared at the two white boys greedily slurping down the foul-smelling, but ever so sweet tasting fruit.

i had tried to try durian before that day, but Cliff wouldnt let me. "When we get to singapore" he said. No way he was going to let me eat a Thai durian as my first...


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