Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gabor Ivan Kish 1968 - 2006




I just lost the dearest friend and sweetest human being I've ever known.

EDIT UPDATE: Memphis Democrat newspaper report on Gabe's death.


NOTE: I have no idea why he was living asleep in a house that had no electricity or water. That was not like him. He was from a rather wealthy family and very high class in every respect. He moved from Peoria, IL to Memphis, Missouri a few years ago, and I lost contact with him. It's all very bizarre.

More than a brother, more than merely a "best friend", more than is possible to convey, I loved this guy so much my heart is a mess right now. I learned a lot from him about being interested in other people. No one could possibly replace him, and although he had a million problems and sorrows of his own, you never saw it. He was always happy, cheerful, helpful, and gave to other people, whether it was money, sympathy, or comedy, in an extremely generous manner.

Often, he was dead broke a day after his payday, due at least partially, to helping less fortunate friends, who may not have necessarily deserved any help, but there you go. A sincerely caring person, sort of a Christ figure in his compassion, his selflessness, the joy he brought to everyone around him -- and in his tragic end -- his morality, generosity, and tender kindness and loyalty were not of this world. Not even close.

He was in a league of his own.

I have other very dear and precious friends, but this guy was so pure in his devotion, we never once argued or got angry at each other. We made films together, chased girls together, talked a lot about life and people, and we lived together at about 4 or 5 different times and places.

He enjoyed Bombay Saphire gin and Michelob beer, smoked Kool cigarettes, and loved to drop by just to talk and hang out. He constantly played Sade and Anita Baker music, and also loved techno, soul, and alternative rock.

He the most loyal friend you could ever imagine.

I am massively devastated.

Gabe Kish supported me for about 5 years when I broke my back, could not get workman's comp, and had no insurance. He paid rent, bought food, tossed me packs of cigarettes, and kept my spirits up during the most difficult time of my life. All I could do for him was try to advise him, encourage him to be less self-destructive, to avoid people who were bad influences, and to be a bit more self-aware. Of course, I was no expert on any of this.

Gabor Ivan Kish, of Yugoslavian descent on his father's side, blessed this poor ravaged planet from 1968 to 2006.

16 comments:

Loren Feldman said...

I'm sorry about your friend, my prayers are with you and him.

steven edward streight said...

Thanks, Loren. You and Gabe are similar in many ways.

I feel almost as grief stricken as when my father died in 1990.

It's just so unexpected and shocking. Poor Gabe was only 38 years old.

Sterling "Chip" Camden said...

My sympathies, although it sounds like I never experienced a friendship to equal yours, so I cannot really know the depth of your loss.

steven edward streight said...

Thanks Sterling. I feel very special having known someone like Gabe.

Women immediately fell in love with him, but, though strongly heterosexual, he was indifferent to their flirting, and that drove them crazy.

He was instantly likeable by anyone who encountered him for more than 5 seconds. He made people feel happy, he was always joking, cheering people up, and was good at analyzing problems.

When he showed up at a party, everybody flocked to him like happy little puppies. To say he was charismatic was a gross understatement. He was electrifying to young and old.

Gabe could have easily been a movie star, rock star, or any other type of celebrity.

But he worked filthy, hard factory jobs, scrubbing wash tanks and filling machines with lubricants at Caterpillar the tractor, earthmoving equipment manufacturer.

He was the kind of person you hear of only in legends.

Humour and last laugh said...

My condolence Steven. The people who try to enlighten the things around them risk a possibility of burning out fast. May be he was one of those. May his soul rest in peace.
You told a bit of your own story too. which was interesting and thought provoking.
Regards.

steven edward streight said...

You may be right, my deep thinking friend, Humour and Last Laugh.

I just posted some comemnts on your blog, regarding the stupid use of sex to "sell" products, and the Noam Chomsky-Chavez affair.

carrie said...

i am sorry for your loss.

life is so fragile and fleeting.

steven edward streight said...

Your condolences are much appreciated Carrie, my #1 blog ally and inspiration.

steven brent said...

So sorry to hear about your friend's passing. Your eloquence and openness honor him, I think.

Grief is a bitch; my stepfather left us a few months ago, and that feeling of having a missing piece is still very much there.

Be good to yourself and stay in touch.

Your pal,

Steven Brent

G. Randy Primm said...

steve

it's such a shitbag moment when we lose good folks like this.

please accept my deepest empathy on behald of anarchists everywhere.

randy

steven edward streight said...

Thanks Randy.

Another aspect of Gabe that I recall is how he loved talking. But he was not the boring bully kind of talker. He would ask people questions about themselves, what they liked, what job they worked at, etc.

He almost never talked about his job, his tastes, his life. He was other-centric. Gabe could draw people out and make them feel good about themselves.

Gabe was not perfect, but any problems or flaws were only damaging to him, he always brought benefits to others.

He never complained, was never sad or worried. He was bright and happy.

Joseph Kish said...

Dearest Steve,

This is Joe, Gabes brother. I'm shocked but happy by your comments on my brother. Shocked only because I had no idea he had such an impact on your life. Gabe was the most extraordinary person I have ever known. I am so thankfull for the words you spoke at his service and I can hardly fathom all that you said about him. He was such a wonderful human being and it's just to bad that more people are not like him. I want to talk to you more and I'm sorry we didn't get the chance in Peoria. Please call me so we can talk, (312)504-4242. Thanks so much again for your kind words and I'm so glad that Gabe was such a factor in your life.

Sincerely, Joe Kish

Gretchen Kish said...

Hello Steve,

This is Gretchen, Gabe's sister. I too am so thankful for what you said about Gabe at the service. I have always loved him, always know that he was special even though he didn't see it. It is so interesting and heartwarming to hear how he made an impression on others. Gabe is so difficult to explain. He was truly unique. I am sick that he is gone. I am suffering...as you are...as we all are, those of us lucky enough to have know him. Gabe deserves this tribute, thank you for creating it for him. Please email me at gretchenkish@hotmail.com. I am scanning in more pictures of Gabe...I could send you some if you like. Take care. Gretchen Kish

Gretchen Kish said...

Hello Steve,

This is Gretchen, Gabe's sister. I too am so thankful for what you said about Gabe at the service. I have always loved him, always known that he was special even though he didn't see it. It is so interesting and heartwarming to hear how he made an impression on others. Gabe is so difficult to explain. He was truly unique. I am sick that he is gone. I am suffering...as you are...as we all are, those of us lucky enough to have know him. Gabe deserves this tribute, thank you for creating it for him. Please email me at gretchenkish@hotmail.com. I am scanning in more pictures of Gabe...I could send you some if you like.

Take care. Gretchen Kish

Bonita Kish said...

Hello Steve,
I hope you get this comment. It has taken me awhile to write. I want to thank you for speaking at the service for Gabe. We all loved him so very much. I was surprised by all that you said. I remember when you and Gabe were friends in Peoria. I was at best, skeptical of your friendship as I did not understand. I knew that Gabe gave his money away to many friends, money that he worked very hard for. I was afraid they were people who only wanted to use him for his generosity. I tried to encourage him to save his money and go back to college as he wanted a better job and never felt that he was good enough. He was truly a wonderful person and I am so glad to know that others saw that in him. I don't think I had actually thought of it before but now that I hear all the things said by his friends it has occured to me that I never once heard him say anything bad about anyone. It was simply not his nature to critize anyone or ever be vindictive in any way. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all learn a lesson from that. Thank you for your friendship to Gabe and your memorial to him. I am grateful for it. My best wishes to you and Andrea, I was happy to meet her. Gabe's mother; Bonita

steven edward streight said...

I really appreciate Gabe's family coming here to post comments.

I felt like I was almost part of his family, for many years.