In Memory - Paul Spears
1966-2007
I canít quite remember when exactly I met Paul for the first time. It was probably at one of the first club meetings I went to or possibly later that year at the spring motocross at Grantsburg. I do remember that it didnít take long before he treated me like a long-time friend. He seemed to often have that effect on people. True, we did have a lot in common. We were close to the same age, had quite a few common interests, had ridden dirt bikes for a long time, and were both a bit vertically challenged. But it seemed to more than that. He had a way of making people feel comfortable and always wanted to make sure that the people around him were enjoying the moment.

Grantsburg was definitely a home away from home for him and thatís where most of my memories of him will be. He never forgot how much fun it was to be at the track, and the work that was needed to prepare for or run the races, was completely worth the payoff of getting to hang out at the track, working and riding during the day, and bench racing around the bonfire or checking out the local watering holes at night.

 

I got the news that Paul had died on a Thursday morning. I went to work that day, but I was probably pretty unproductive. I just couldnít believe that someone who had seemed to exude a love of life could take his own life. His service the next day was standing room only. As I came to find out, the care and consideration he showed me, someone who he didnít know that well, was just a sample of the joy and love that he spread to those around him. I cannot even imagine the loss those that knew him well are feeling. He was truly cared for and loved by many people, something that made the utter hopelessness he must have felt at the end all the harder to understand.

My hope is that Paul will be remembered for how he lived, not for how his life ended, but at the same time, if his early death could bring awareness of the disease of Depression out in the open more, maybe someone else could be saved from taking this irreversible step. Mistreated or untreated Depression is fatal. Iíve been close to the disease and seen the dark places it can take someone. If anyone reading this has ever had any self-destructive thoughts, Iíd implore you to not to try to ďtough it outĒ and cover it up, and always remember that there are people who care about you if you ask for help.

 

It s hard to know where to begin with the Paul stories, and I didnít know him that long compared to many people. I invite everyone to submit their stories and pictures, and in order to get all the ones the really reflected his joy of life, I was going to rate this section of my web site PG-13. Paul didnít exactly live the life of a monk or of someone who obeyed the letter of the law, but at the same time, nothing he did really hurt anyone, and heís about the last person I can think of that would intentionally cause harm to another.

Going to Grantsburg isnít quite the same without you being there, Paul. You left us much too early.

- Bob Chase