Stellar Zoner Down - Walt (Aerohead)

Our dear friend Walt, zoner (Aerohead) died yesterday. Such a sweet, loving man, tough and gentle and so happy to be married to Kimberly. He was diagnosed with lung cancer almost 3 years ago.

Walt loved music and road trips, he and Mark D were tour buddies. I first met them in 2005 in the Hep C folder on Philzone, and then in 2006 at SCI shows at the Cuthbert Amphitheater where they were working at a Donate Life table. Walt lived in Corvallis an hour north of me and we got to be good friends. He and Kimberly went through his successful Hep C interferon and Ribaviron treatment – those were the days of feeling like you had really bad flu, with other shitty side effects, for a year of treatment. He was one of the lucky ones whose Hep C was cured and he stuck around in the Hep C folder to support other people as they went through treatment. It seems like his closest friends are from the Hep C folder. He also stood up for the people in the Hep C folder who were trolled, harassed and chased away by the religious right wing zoners. He was a stand up guy in all regards.

Walt was in pain for ~25 years from a fall in a bridge building accident where his back was shattered. He didn’t complain, he took life in stride.

He did complain about doctors and their offices not being on time, following through, and telling the truth. As that got to be how he spent more of his life he had more to complain about.  We spoke often, partly so he could have a reality check about living and dying with cancer. We told each other the truth.

What he never complained about was Kimberly, whom he loved as much as a person can love another person, except to say that he wished she’d take more time for herself instead of being so attentive to him. He used to say that he’d waited 50 years for her and he never wanted to cause her any pain. They got a rescue dog last year, Bailey, and she was a source of joy and exercise for him.  He also loved restoring their VW Westfalia, old select stereo components, music, his friends and family. He was a really dear man. Going to miss you so much, Walt.

In my backyard in 2009. L-to-R, Walt, Kimberly, me, Mack (I wish I could remember Mack's PZ name).

Walt, Kimberly, J, Mack, Sept 09_0.jpg

That's amaranth growing in the garden, not out of Walt's head.

Waltlonghair.jpgI first met Walt here in the hepC folder in 2004. We were all doing that fucking interferon/ribaviron crap that was like having the flu for a whole yr. A bunch of us hung out here because we knew folks here understood. We had great advice for each other and shared much science, humor and whatnot. One of the things always stressed here, was as Tom would say, GO TO THE SHOW!  Live music just made the suffering that much easier to deal with.   With that in mind, Walt,Cap'n Budley and I decided to go up for the Trinity Tribal Stomp in Aug or Sept of that yr(2004).  Cap'n lived on his boat "Skookum" in Oakland, Walt Lived in Placerville, and I was down in Long Beach..  So we decided to meet up for the first time there on his boat.  Llary showed up to meet everyone also, but he did not go north with us.   So, it was  dark by the time I got to Oakland, and had to be let in the gate. I called Walt and he came to let me in.  It was really strange, but when I got my first glimpse of Walt walking up under the street light, I knew right then that we would be life long friends. I can't explain it, but I just knew it.   Some time later when we were looking back at that night, he admitted to the same feelings in that instance.  He became one of the best friends I have ever had. Maybe the one I most admired and looked up to( he was a bit taller).  Even after he moved north to Corvalis, we still managed to see each other several times a yr. Whenever DNB was in Oregon Walt would catch at least one show. And every yr he would come down and meet me in Placerville for Hangtown(each of the first 5 yrs of Hangtown). And we ruled Hangtown.  Got VIP RV passes each yr(after the first one) and had the best times ever.

I was supposed to drive up and see him tomorrow. When we talked a few days ago, he was talking Hangtown this yr. He thought maybe he could make it.   Or at least that is what he said. I would have been up there this week, but he asked me to wait till this next week because so many were coming this week and he wanted to be ble to spend a lot of time with me. Turned out he did not have that time left.  I am heartbroken because I have lost such a great friend, and Kimberly has lost so much more, but at least he is out of the pain now. Even before cancer struck, he was in constant pain from the bridge collapse.  And was in so much pain at the end that they had to induce coma as the only relief.

The world is such a lesser place now without him in it.  


I love you Walt. Rest In Peace my brother.

I don't have much to add to what Mark just said. In 2005 I was beginning what turned into a 1 year trek around the US. First stop, Oregon, but wasn't sure how I was going to get there. I figured I would hitchhike and just at the right time, Walt calls and asks if I can drive a large U-Haul up to Oregon....Hell yeah, I can! This was shortly after meeting at Budley's boat and after the infamous Allman Brothers Beacon run in NY, when 23 Zoners showed up and what a party that was! So, I have been vacationing here in Oregon every year since, always staying with Walt and Kimberly for a spell. I sure do miss my buddy Walt, one of the sweetest guys I ever met! Condolences to Kimberly, Bailey the dog and everyone that was ever touched by Walt! R.I.P. Walt.....what a long strange trip it's been!

P.S. I tried and failed to post a picture but I put one on FB that, if someone wants to post it here, please do!


Walt and Kimberly, 2010 (Llary's pic)

Walt and Kimberly 2010_0.jpg

Ugh. Sincere condolences to Kymberly, friends and fam of Walt.


Lovely blogs Mark, Llary and Judit. 

So many fine folks are gone, I don't need to list them, we knew, fought dragons and loved them. Not sure but I heard Diana passed.

May our brother and sister hep-cats rest in peace. broken heart



I first met Walt in 2003 at the Gorge concert with Mark, Walt, and cap't Budley ! What a joy to have been able to spend a weekend with the greatest bunch of guys !

The concert was great and at the end it was hard to  say goodbye to these great friends !! It is hard to lose someone who you share so much time with on the Philzone  as well as meeting him and now our old friend is gone sharing time with Mack and Budley  and others like ourselves!! So long old friend !!!!

Walt gave me a lot of support on my first go-round. I'm saddened.

May he stay forever young.

Same damned double posts.

Oh, I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...