Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rambling notes on Bruce Springsteen and Jeffrey's last ride

It's 3 AM and I can't sleep... its funny sometimes how things in our lives bind together

I awoke from a strange dream. Into my head drifted Bruce Springsteen's "Outlaw Pete". The song really hooked me when I heard it live in LA. So I bought it and now can't hear enough of it. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my headphones and fired it up on the PC. Let me look up those words. As I click over to to read the lyrics, I land on the front page.

On the site is Bruce's own recollection of Super Bowl Sunday. Bruce's great adrenaline rush is splayed out for all. "...It was a high point, a marker of some sort and went up with the biggest shows of our work life." For me, this brings a flood of memories. You see, I spent almost all of Super Bowl Sunday in the hospital as doctors tried to save my best friend Jeff's life from a horrific crash he had on his bike while we rode early that morning. My own adrenaline rush that day is summoned from a low point smashing in my gut. Its a real downbound feeling that months later I still can't shake off: The panicked call to 911 in an moment of helplessness as deep as I have ever dropped... watching Jeff after the fall. The only moments of joy I recall from that afternoon in the hospital was watching Bruce and the band do what they do best for 12 minutes on a tiny TV in the ER waiting room. For just a few minutes they woke me out of my somber state of grief that day. Tears overwhelm me as I tap this out and read it back again. But they feel oddly soothing on my face in the still of the night.

The year before, we held a little Super Bowl party at our house. Jeff was there with some great hors d'oeuvres he had made. Jeff had been a chef before his last gig as a wine and beer distributor sales rep and he made some delicious shrimp wrapped in prosciutto. Unlike myself and many of our house full of mostly Giant fans that day, Jeff had no real interest in the game. But when half time came on, and Tom Petty took the stage, both of our sound systems in the house were cranked up to 11 and Tom and the Heartbreakers went on fire. We all sang along. It was a rock and roll blast. Jeff loved it. I know because he reminded me of it while we were riding on that fateful last day of his: "I know you're gonna crank up Bruce Springsteen this afternoon." he said. "Last year was so great - the way Tom Petty was blaring through your house like a concert. That was the highlight man, not the game." Jeff never got to see or hear this year's game or concert. It was not meant to be. A few days later at home watching Bruce and the band play that 12 minutes, two days had passed and my emotions simply wouldn't prop up. I'm hoping and dreaming that one day, I'll get to hear it again and it will truly lift me up the way Bruce and the band intended.

"Jeffrey - you passed away a week ago now. We missed that Springsteen Superbowl concert. But tomorrow we'll take your favorite ride to the coast with you 'You gotta ride, man' you would always tell me. And ride we will. We covered thousands of miles, year after year after year. Its what we did. And you went out doing it in style. Kicking ass up that hill and never looking back. Tell you what I'm gonna do for you my bother, I'm gonna hook up a boom box on my bike and blast Petty and Springsteen while we roll down those last few miles one last time. It'll be great. You're friends are coming over. Let's have some fun. We'll spread some of your presence over the land and sea. We'll see you there."

We'll take Jeffrey with us on his last bike ride and scatter some of his ashes along the beautiful stretch of California coast where he loved to ride. Barbara tells me this is where Jeff first started to ride distance many years ago. So I think it appropriate for a little of him to remain there. And you're welcome to join us. Call me at 8o5-75o-8o25 if you want to join us Sunday morning at 9AM at the California Grill in Camarillo for the ride or later at 1PM for the service inside.



Monday, April 13, 2009

The Jeff Bayly (Pre Party) Bike Ride

Attention Cyclists:

Jeff used to love to ride from Camarillo down to the coast. If you would like to ride with us in Jeff's memory, please join us at the California Grill parking lot at 9 o'clock Sunday morning, April 19. We'll roll down to the coast, stop for a bit to remember Jeff and roll back - a distance of around 40 flat miles. We can then join up with the party at the Grill post ride. Contact me if you like for more info.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jeff's Memorial Celebration details

We will be holding a celebration of Jeff's life on Sunday, April 19th. Starting time is 1 PM. The venue is the California Grill at 67 Daily Drive in Camarillo. As you may know, Jeffrey was the chef there for many years. We will enjoy a few of Jeff's favorites courtesy of Jim Foley, owner. Please come, remember, celebrate Jeff's life, and please pass the word on to other friends of Jeffrey.

Thanks, Barbara and friends

To get to the grill, take the 101 freeway to Las Posas Road (Exit 55) in Camarillo. Turn right if heading north, left if heading south onto Las Posas Rd. After the freeway, get into the far right hand lane. The first light after the freeway will be Daily Drive. Turn right onto Daily Drive and take the very first left turn into the shopping center. Park your car and walk right on over to "the Grill."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Its all over now...

Jeffrey Jeru Bayly - May He Rest in Peace
December 20, 1954 - April 7, 2009

Jeffrey passed from this world into another tonight. Barbara was by his bedside. We'll be holding a memorial service in his honor, most likely on Sunday April 19. We'll get the word out here and by phone once arrangements are made. It goes without saying that if you want to attend, you will be welcomed. Thank you to all of you who wrote and called and sent Barbara and Jeffrey prayers of hope and love. It meant so much to everyone.

"They built the Titanic to be one of a kind,
but many ships have ruled the seas
They built the Eiffel tower to stand alone,
but they could build another, if they pleased
The Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt are unique, I suppose,
but when the built you brother, they broke the mold.

The world is filled with many wonders
under the passing sun
But sometimes something comes along
and you know, it's for sure the only one
The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel,
Jesus, Mary and Joe
and when they built you brother, they broke the mold

When they built you brother
they turned this dust to gold
When they built you brother
they broke the mold

They say you can't take it with you
but I think that they're wrong
All I know's I woke up this morning
and something big was gone
Gone in to that dark ether
Where you're still young n' hard and cold
Just like when they built you brother
and broke the mold

Now your death is upon us
And we'll return your ashes to the Earth
And I know you'll take comfort in knowin'
You've been roundly blessed and cursed
But love is a power
Greater than death
Just like the songs and stories told
And when she built you brother
She broke the mold..." - Bruce Springsteen

Jeff & Beer

Greetings from room 2156.

Jeff loved his beer. With all due respect to all of the wine loving folks he
worked with, Jeff really preferred to have a well crafted beer after
the work day was done.

One day he showed up at my house with this beer. "It's perfect for you
man - Look at the label: He-Brew beer."

We never did get to drink it. But I think I'll crack it real soon in
Jeff's honor and memory.

Jeff's still hangin' on if you want to visit him here. But come by
soon if you want to say goodbye.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jeff is under Hospice Care

Jeff remains in room 2156 at Los Robles Hospital. Jeff is under the care of the hospice nurses now. He is resting comfortably. If you wish to see Jeff before he passes, you should visit him very soon. While there, Jeff may not understand what you say to him. But the staff says that the sound of familiar voices talking to him is probably soothing for Jeff. And, in my case, it feels good to talk to him.