Opinion

In memory of John Warnecke

So.it’s 1 PM, November 7, 2006. My roommate, John Patrick Warnecke, is probably being enterred about now (his ashes, anyway), in Charlottesville, VA. I have to admit, I was a bit upset that they decided to bury him there, because he hated Charlottesville. But then again, I wasn’t really sure what he’d want done with his remains either.

But I was watching the first season of Desperate Housewives last night (a show that John enjoyed), and it hit me. When Mrs. Huber dies and is cremated, Edie throws her ashes on Susan in a fit of rage, and then later, hoses Mrs. Huber off of Susan onto Susan’s front lawn. And I really, truly think that that’s what John would want done with his remains.

I must say, John’s irreverence was always one of my favorite things about him. For instance, when John went to his parent’s current residence in Charlottesville, (Southern) Virginia, he LOVED to make the local hicks uncomfortable (his words, not.well, I’m from Northern Virginia, so mine too, but still). For instance: he loved blasting French/European techno from the open windows of his car.

Everyone has been calling him “compassionate, warm, etc. etc.” and I never really saw him like that. But I do think he’s someone that most everyone on this campus would have been able to get along with. He wasn’t political – my outspokenness irritated him. I never found him to be particularly deep, but that’s another reason he was so easy to get along with for most people. He wasn’t apolitical, he was just easy-going.

He swore (colorfully and) enough to make a sailor blush, and his sense of humor (as you can see) was somewhat twisted. He was Jesus for Halloween – he was very proud of the thorn-crown that the costume came with. He had multiple seasons of Dead Like Me on DVD. We had saved the side mirror that he hit (and smashed) against a trash can and then which came off completely when he tried to back into a parking spot and ran it through a wall of bushes – it was a funny souvenir of the day we moved in. It seems morbid now, but if he were alive, I think he would have gotten a kick out of it.

Slowly but surely, I’m starting to find all of the things that annoyed me about him endearing. He was more of a bitch than I am (and I embrace it, so that’s saying something. Remembering him, now that he’s gone.I think I really like that. I wasn’t a big fan when he was being a bitch to me, but now that he’s gone I find it endearing. Admirable, almost.

I don’t want to say that John was this wonderful(ly bland) person, because he wasn’t – I mean he was human, he had his flaws. And as Robin Williams put it in Good Will Hunting, “That’s the good stuff.”

So I’d like to take a moment to remember John, as John. To not edit the truth but to accept and embrace him as he was.

November 10, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.