Friday, February 20, 2009

You will be missed homie...

Under normal circumstances I would not do this, as I believe that some things are better left to be dealt with in the privacy of those close to you, but I think that the situation calls for some recognition. Yesterday afternoon a dear friend of mine, Mr. Brian Barton, transcended this existence. He was my best friend and long time classmate going back to seventh grade. There is no quantifiable way to write about the myriad adventures we had, going from adolescence to adulthood. Nor is it possible to write how much this brother meant to me...and so many others.

Brian was a young brother that was always the life of the party and had the comedic timing of Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy. His always infectious smile was a welcome sight in the most difficult situations. In recent years Brian and I spoke at length about faith, politics, organized religion, the state of "Black America", and of course hip-hop (the good, the bad, and the ugly). Also, we talked about what we planned on doing as we got older, realizing that we were not the next, but the "NOW" generation. We spoke of how we could be come not just successful but relevant.

Our last conversation was on this past Sunday, I believe, and we spoke about meeting up in St. Louis in April for old times sake, since it had been almost five years since we had connected. Hell, we even talked about sporting our old letterman jackets from high school, wondering if we still could wear them. I thank God for his life and the joy he brought countless others. Everyday we hear about folks who leave the "land of the living" as my grandfather speaks of it, but it never really hits home until someone that you know passes.

The picture I posted above pretty much sums up the character that Brian was...he seldom (at least in high school) looked at the camera, as he always wanted to look like he was a model or just really stoic. If memory serves me correctly, I think that picture was taken like our sophomore or possibly junior year...and what a time we had. Basketball games, thinking about college, who we were (and were not) going to take to Homecoming or Prom, and the countless hours we spent on the Playstation at Chris Clarks' house. The ironic thing about the picture is that a fellow classmate emailed it to me yesterday recalling some old memories. I thought to call Brian after seeing the picture, but thought, "I'll reach out to him later this week." That time never came.

The Creator giveth and He surely taketh away. How or why is not for me to discern or contemplate I believe. I will, however thank God for his life and the time he was here. I will never forget my friend, my comrade, my brother. When I graduate my dude...a piece of this Ph.D. will be dedicated to you homie...I did not forget those times when you called during the most intense parts of this process to make sure I hadn't lost my mind completely.

Brian was the brother I expected to be in my wedding (when and if I got married), he was the brother I expected to have a nice libation with after I graduated from Cornell.

My prayers remain with Brian's wife, and the rest of the Barton family.

Brian "Sugar Bee" Barton


(im)perfect_black said...

Nice story. Sounds like a solid brother. My condolences. IB

Veronica said...

Sorry to hear of your lost.

B1 said...

I'm terribly sorry. You're right the magnitude is never truly understood until you've personally suffered it. I'm speaking from my own experience. You shall not be left comfortless. You have a wealth of people who love and support you unconditionally.

You're a strong man in spirit and will. I wonder who you get that from (smile). I pray that you allow yourself to propery grieve however that my be for you. Healing sometimes is learning how to cope. May the Lord be with you and Brian's family.

MAN said...

Nothing quite like losing one of your running partners. Peace and Blessing to you and his family.

the uppity negro said...

Stay up bruh.

Naeemah said...

No one ever really knows the pain one feels after losing a love one. Even those who have, only share in relating to the experience.
Take your time, grieve..then receive your healing. But Calvin, don't stay there too long. Brian can't live on in you, if you're not walking amongst the living and continuing to be relevant. Peace and Love to you and his family.

Anonymous said...

I am leaving this in hopes that Vernon reads these comments...
This is Scott K. I graduated highschool with Vernon and Brian. I just came across the eulogy for Brian and was curious as to the circumstances of Brian's passing. I wasn't great friends with him, but he was a phenominal individual. Vernon, if you read this and it's not too private of a matter, please email me at Thank you and my sincerest condolences.

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