…I did not know. Never met the man. Do not know any of his friends, family or frat brothers. But I did feel dark when I first saw his memorial on the steps of Sproul Hall, because it became clear again that the angry hate and evil that is in the world can be brought right up close in an instant. When you have no love of self or others, then hate easily fills that hole. I did take a snapshot of the informal memorial, and I will share that with my kids as they get older when I explain to them that extremism can breed terrorists, and that often ends in death. And it is not something that happens in a far off land, it happens to us as a people, no matter if we are way over there… so it brings it home.
Love of self, of friends and family… of community, institution and beliefs… often brings up good people. Good people are seen by the work they do that others enjoy naturally. So it is that Nick’s close friends and family were inspired to create a lasting chapter of Nick. It is a story about giving those a helping hand in their educational path. His close friends and family created a Foundation to do this. The Victory of the People Scholarship has been set up to provide support for undergraduate students enrolled in Berkeley Study Abroad programs.
On November 12, 2016 Nick’s fraternity hosted the first annual benefit jam in his memory and described what the name Nicolas means.
In spite of my work schedule and where I would be that Saturday, I was able to check out the music. When I arrived, the party was already rolling to a fellow on acoustic by the name of Matt… who I had a brief chance to talk to off-stage, but I apologize that I did not get his last name!
After Matt came Jack Symes and his original work. Jack is from Berkeley and is also one of the key players in getting this event organized with his fraternity. So if you see him, give him an extra thanks… and take a listen to him on Soundcloud.
The event closed out with the band More Fatter. These boys have a tremendous love for their work, with an energy level that brought ’em to their feet. It isn’t often you get the privilege of hearing this much talent wrapped up into a tight package. No covers today, folks: It’s all their original work. Can’t wait for their upcoming album to get through mixing and production!
By the way, Jack has an album called Gargoyles available for download, which I bought. Totally worth it! Nice. Smooth. Waiting for more…