Greg Beck is dead.
Greg was the author of the Death's Door, one of the very best blogs anywhere.
I found out about his passing this afternoon as I was routinely checking my favorite blogs. I saw that Keith Sader had a new post up, so I went to check it out.
Then when I got home, I had a voice-mail from Spyder confirming the news.
The news of Greg's death over the weekend fills me with more sadness than I can rationally explain.
I can't claim to have known Greg, or been his friend. I met the man twice.
The first time was at our first blogger meet-up that was actually organized by Greg and his best friend, Michelle. It was at Harry's Country Club down in the River Market. I recognized him as soon as he walked through the door. You couldn't miss Greg. The guy was a mountain. A presence that immediately dominated the room.
The second time was at another blogger meet up at Governor Stumpy's.
I have vague memories of maybe encountering him down in Westport back in the early 80's when I lived off of 39th and Clark and hung out at Blayneys, Buzzard Beach, The Hurricane and The New Stanley (now Harry's Bar and Tables). He may have even tossed me out of a bar or two. It's possible.
So why, when I heard that he had died, did I feel like someone had slugged me in the gut with a baseball bat? Why, was I useless for the rest of the day? Why did I tear up and start to cry when I saw Michelle's post on Greg's blog?
It's because Greg Beck has been a daily presence in my life for over two years. I read everything this guy wrote, every day. He had such a unique voice! I think you could go back through his archives, pick out any random post, copy just a snippet and put it in front of any other blogger you know and they could say "That's Greg Beck. No doubt about it."
THAT is what every writer wants. That is what every blogger strives for. Greg had it!
That's why people read Greg. He didn't have an agenda. He wasn't trying to promote or destroy anything. He wasn't trying to change anybody's mind or win anybody's vote. He just wanted to tell stories. And he did it with more style, charm, humor, intelligence and wit than anyone I know.
Goddamnit! There are so many other people in this world that we could do without. We could use a whole lot more Greg Becks.
I hope that Michelle, or someone who has access can save and preserve his legacy. It would be a tragedy of Alexandrian proportions if all of his stories just disappeared.
Rest In Peace, Greg. I wish I knew you better.
Here is "Greg Beck's per-fuckin-fect fried chicken" recipe.
I'm cookin here, bitches
What you'll be needing.
1. Large pot, not a fry pan or a fancy pants sauté pan but a large to medium sized metal pot.
2. Large bottle of canola oil.
3. Dead chicken, I use wings or skinless breasts and cut em into strips. You use what you want.
4. Six eggs
5. Bunch of fuckin flour.
8. Garlic, I use either powdered or minced
9. Onion powder
10. Old Bay Seasoning
11. Red pepper, powdered or crushed
12. One popcorn kernel
What to do with all this shit.
1. Put pot on stove and pour oil in till pots halfway filled. But don't turn on the heat yet.
2. Wash chicken in cold water, then rewash your fuckin hands. Always be with the hand washing!
3. Salt and pepper the chicken, then sprinkle with Old Bay Seasoning.
4. Take a large bowl and crack all six eggs into it. Then add small amount of garlic and Old Bay plus a bit of onion powder. Get one of those whippy things and whip the egg mix till all the shit blends together.
5. Add chicken and make sure it's all covered by egg mix then put in fridge.
6. Now go have a smoke or surf the net for a half hour or so.
7. Now you can turn on the stove. Medium high heat should do. You don't want it too hot no matter what that punkass Emrill says.
8. If you gots a gas stove you want the flame where it's just starting to spread under the middle of the pot. For electric stove you want high heat. Gas gets hotter you know.
9. Find a large paper sack and pour a shitload of flour into it. Add salt and pepper and also garlic to taste. Add onion powder and more Old Bay. Shake all this shit together. The mix is right when it smells good.
10. Throw popcorn kernel into pot of oil. As soon as it pops the oil's hot enough.
11. Take the bowl of egg washed chicken out of the fridge and put chicken into sack and shake like a muthafucker. Chicken should come out of bag fully coated.
12. Carefully lay chicken into hot oil, do not pack together but loosely. You cook this shit in batches.
13. Now here's the most important part!! Once chicken goes in do not fuckin touch it! If you've done what I've said the chicken should be completely covered by the oil. Now go sit your ass down somewhere. Hear the noise of the chicken frying? When the frying noise stops and the chicken floats, that means the chicken's done.
14. Carefully remove chicken from pot and lay on screen or paper towels. As soon as you do that sprinkle with salt.
Repeat cooking process till all chicken's cooked.
15. Add frozen fry's to the still hot oil. Cook to taste.
You will end up with crisp tasty that's not greasy or oily. And get this, it tastes better after a night in the fridge!
I know what I'll be eating this weekend. Godspeed, brother.
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