I still can't believe it.
I will be sure to let his family know how many friends he had made here on this goddamned hockey message board. He was a hard guy not to like, and that applied to the both the real world and its cyber-equivalent. I haven't talked to his brother in years, he must be hurting bad. I am taking it so hard that I can only imagine what his wife and family are going through. I called his mom today to express my condolences.
Rob used to wonder what the hell I was doing hammering away on his computer. I told him about CanucksCentral and the cast of characters that made it a fun place, and he started off slowly, as a troll, but then he really grew to love and support the place. I helped edit his stuff and watched a guy with very little writing acumen develop by leaps and bounds. He had real talent. I went years without posting, but creeper was a constant and established himself in a way on CC that I never did. I think it really helped distract him from his family life, which was a dramatic lifestyle change for him and was likely kind of scary. I'm probably putting too much information out there on the internet right now, but I feel it's important for everyone
to know who Rob was. I don't think he'd mind.
I really regret not calling him back a couple weeks ago. I was busy and I figured I'd get back to him later. Rob was a type-A personality and we had a rocky friendship at times, but I really wanted the guy to be sober and happy. We have both had our struggles with substance abuse and I'm not sure if that was an issue here or not, but I kind of wish I'd been around for him more lately. I beat my problem a few years ago and I think he was on his way to doing the same thing. He had finally found a woman he loved and had a family, which I think he always wanted. He wasn't lonely like I suspect he had been when we hung out regularly.
Rob was a very intimidating and aggressive guy but once you got to know him you realized how sensitive and funny he was. He was a hilarious poster but he was even more fun in real life.
I know that he is at peace now, and I will always cherish the memories I have. I met Rob when I was 14 and he was an 18-year old pizza-delivery driver in Dundarave. Later on I worked in the same place. Him rolling joints for me in his Camaro back in 1990, ripping around Stanley Park. Watching movies on mushrooms in his basement. Taking his dog for hikes in the canyon. Playoff games and UFC cards and NFL nights. Flats of beer.
Good times. Love you buddy.
Chairman of the Jim Benning Appreciation Society