Originally posted by HRB:
[QB]My best friend, riding partner, and fellow Chicago area Suzukihayabusa.org member passed away Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Gman (Gerard Viola of Libertyville, Illinois) did not have the number of posts to give many of you a chance to know him, but I assure you, he was here as often as anyone and his world revolved around the Hayabusa. A day wouldn't go by without him debating whether to turbo or spray, polish or chrome, or the timeless question of the TRE.
I met him through this board close to a year ago. After asking me if I wanted to go on a sport-touring trip with our wives, I told him that I was going through a divorce, he opened up and told me that things were in a similar state at home, and I guess that was enough bond for us. It helped to have a friend for me, while he was able to watch me go through my divorce and see that I came out standing. From that point on, we would ride, trade emails, and hang out pretty regularly.
Over the past few months, his wife lost her job which created financial concerns, there was some questions of his job security recently, and things continued to degrade in his relationship with his wife. It was tough, but it seemed like he was pulling through. On Thursday night we went to the local boat races in my friend's Fountain boat, Friday night went out for pizza and some beers, and Saturday rode down to a bike shop down south. The last time I saw him was when we split off with him heading for home and me heading to race a blown WS6 T/A.
The details are between Gerard, his wife, and the police, but I believe that things were just more than he could take and he took his life between our last phone conversation on Saturday night and my phone call to him on Sunday morning.
Gerard was one of the finest men I've known. Loved and worshipped his wife to the very end, loved his dog and cats, and would give a friend the shirt off his back. Taking the easy way out wasn't his way, and if he knew the pain that his
family and friends were going through, he'd have reconsidered.
How to remember someone like Gerard... I'm not sure. I can tell you two things that would have meant the world to him (and I'm sorry if it puts anyone on the spot):
1. Being added to the list of Godspeed to JR BUSA and 01erion on the main board page.
2. Having his name, however small, on the NLR drag bike. That was his dream, to have a NLR system installed by Motorhead. I wish he could have held on for brighter days...
If anyone would like to come to the services, please give me a call on my cell phone (847) 420-6225. At this point, nothing has been arranged as he was found last night, and I'm not sure I'll be working this week to answer emails.