My Friend Andrew

June 6th, 2019

I have this memory from the fall of 1993, on the first day of first grade, putting my arms around both Andrew Modlin and Lee Appleby at the same time and thinking to myself, "these are my two new best friends." It turned out Andrew had just moved in up the hill from me and his birthday was little more than a week before mine. We quickly became close friends.

One thing I really appreciate about our friendship was how we enjoyed being creative together. We were always making things and would teach eachother. I think mutually encouraging eachother in our tinkering had a big effect on who I have grown up to be. And for that I am thankful.

In middle and high school, friends and I would make 'remixes' together. Andrew and I collaborated on a number of them, even making a truly terrible 'album' of sounds of manually running cassette tape along the read-head. Prior to the internet we would leave floppy disks in eachother's mailboxes to share files.

For a couple years during elementary school Andrew and I wrote a one-page newspaper about Valentines day we named the Valentimes.

Around 2004 Andrew repurposed a briefcase as a hard drive enclosure and then helped me do the same. I was still using it with my computers up until a few years ago. To acquire the hard drive for it we lined up outside Best Buy at like 5am on black friday and ended up in the Valley News.

The last time I saw him was in the fall of 2015. He and his girlfriend happened to be in San Francisco, down from Davis where he was studying. They visited my art studio and we all went out to dinner. He seemed happy, told us about the desert turtle research he was doing and the modifications he was doing on his truck.

Last week I happened to attend a block party at the house Andrew grew up in, back where our friendship had begun. His family moved out years ago, I had not there been in probably over a decade. Bizarrely this is where I found out he had died.

I wish I could talk to him. I respect his thoughts on things. He was very sharp, kind, optimistic, generous and had a generous laugh. Andrew was one of my first friends and one of my best.

Thanks for being my bud.