We all have been around each other for so long that we are family. We are a chosen family of gangly bastards and bitches, but we are held together by a bond that is as superficial and as deep as any true family tied by blood. We are a gang. We are a tribe. And there is nothing stronger than that. You can’t break it. You can only take from it – and add to it.
Our family has been together for a long time but one thing that we are doing, other than simply passing through time together, is growing. We are growing together. A lot of us met years ago…some lifetimes ago…on the playground, or on the bus. Some at the bar, or through a friend. Our group started out an awkward kid on the schoolyard, but it has grown into a mature, responsible, calling following, world traveling adult, a group of excellent people…that love to celebrate.
I would be a fool if I didn’t take this time to say how much I love each and every one of you. You are the ones that have made me what I am today. I can’t imagine if I didn’t have you backing me, what kind of person I would be if I didn’t have you in my life to shape me, if I wasn’t blessed with your reappearing laughs, your contagious smiles, your stories and tall tales. I also hope that you understand how amazing of a feeling it is to be able to be here for you fuckers this way, to bring you all together…to put you all in a room together and sit back and watch. I love to sit and watch our family, the diversity, the love, the compassion, the fickle fighting, the drama. The growth.
5 Years going now and I think we have ourselves a tradition. With all of our members, I think we have ourselves a hell of a tribe. When my dad left us the Hoover Ranch, Boyd Lucas said “Now we know we will be here forever!” I think that the stable sense of family and kinship that we represented to him was one of the things that kept his passing from being a complete tragedy. We are home, whenever we are together. We started that simply by playing around. Throughout the good and the bad, we are here for each other no matter what. Some of you would move these mountains for your pals; you don’t get more family than that. You people have seen me at my best, and you have witnessed me at my worst…and I am grateful for that. I am a greater person for it and I thank you.
I love you, friends.