“In Scandinavia, there was a firm belief in the ability of some people to change into or assume the characteristics of bears. Our English word "berserk" comes from this legend. It was thought that if a warrior was to don a bear-skin shirt (called a bear-sark) which had been treated with oils and herbs, that the warrior would gain the strength, stamina, and power of the animal. These people would be driven into a frenzy in battle and were said to be capable of biting through the enemy's shields or walking through fire without injury.” — Gary Coulbourne
Sometimes, stories should be allowed to tell themselves.
In November of 2003, I began exploring the idea of writing something about how my friend, Lynn Leavell’s life and death had an impact on my own, and the lives of some of my friends. Pieces of that exploration have appeared here and there, but the definitive account, the be-all-to-end-all version that puts the matter to rest, never seems to emerge.
After wrestling with this mystery off and on all these years, the truth may be that I will never understand. Life may simply be just one damn thing after another, or not.
But following are few of the conversations and exchanges I’ve shared as I wander about, seeking.
From: Rob Carrigan
To: Scott Weinmaster
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004
I am working on a writing project that involves Lynn and our trip to Dolores in November but ran into some roadblocks. I have asked Rusty and Carl Rice similar questions. What I am thinking of writing may take many forms. The idea that appeals to me now is an examination of value systems, environment, culture, etc… as it relates to one man’s life, Lynn Leavell. By talking about Lynn and his life, we try to take a good honest look in the mirror. Some of us will have different takes on what was, is, and might have been. A starting place for you and I on this, as I see it, is for you to tell me how you viewed Lynn? How you viewed yourself as it related to him? Your perceptions of the group as a whole? And any other observations you care to comment on?
An important disclaimer: in the course of this and future conversations, you want to tell me something but it is off limits as far as writing about it, you must make that clear to me. Because, otherwise, it might find its way into print. Thanks for your consideration. Let me know what you think. ¬—Rob
From: Scott Weinmaster
To: Rob Carrigan
Sent: Febrary 27, 2004
lots of things to think about… as far lynn and i, we kinda grew together as young kids, but as i went out of town, i lost track of all the family, until my mom sent me back to dolores my 9th grade summer, lynn made me feel at home as soon as i got back… he introduces me to everyone, u know the group… lynn was closer to me than my own brothers… we just seemed to click from the beginning … for a guy that wasn’t all that talented at sports physically, he was a wonder when it came to knowing the game … never knew anyone that had such a brain for the game … all games, he used his head more than body … that’s why he needed a special helmet to cover that rock of a head... lol… he was gentle and caring … but a hell of a competitor!! i remember that he was upset with me at 1 point thinking i was taking away from him being the head of the boys with granny … we both cried and of course had a few drinks back then but realized that it didn’t matter, we were bros and what mattered was how we felt and dealt with 1 another… as far as how i related to lynn, i guess i have to say that i was the alpha dog … but knew i couldn’t do much without him and the others … i feel that lynn respected me for that … he was the buffer and the smart 1 … i still regret that didn’t go to mesa, life would have been different, he wouldn’t have let me screw up … so i guess he was a person that i cared about not disappointing, … i looked up to him more that he ever knew … i always thought he was the star and not me … we had a lot of great times together … i miss him! so i guess the easiest way to do this is to send me specific questions … and listen to me ramble … 1 ? at a time, u know I can get overwhelmed lol… but to me, Dolores and all of u were the best thing that ever happened to a city boy.
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