I had plans to visit the memorial service that was held today (Sunday) and pay respects, but by the end of of the service I had gained a sense of friendship with companions that needed comfort in this greatest time of need.
This all started Saturday night when I was supposed to film a portion of the Masquerade and then head out for dinner. Behind the press row was two rows for the family and friends of Mr. Randall and once I found out about the row behind me, I started to converse with the family and friends. Their presence was for a tribute video that was going to be shown during the Masquerade. I saw his girlfriend, who was still recovering from her injuries, and I started to talk to her about him and the events that transpired that night when he had saved her from a drunken motorist. I also mentioned to them that I was the one who had filmed him in Summer 2008 at the front of the conga line. They asked me to speak at the memorial service the next day, and I shared my condolences with everyone in attendance. I broke down in tears as we comforted each other, something that I didn't expect to happen. I may had not reacted the same way when news of his death was first reported, but it sank in pretty quick and will stay with me through the end of time.
I spent my free time on Saturday and Sunday writing up some notes on what to say at the memorial service. Eventually, I ordered my notes and made sure that I didn't take up too much time so that other friends, family, and the community could speak at the service.
This is what I said:
The California Conventions Blog sends out their condolences to Mr. Randall's family and friends as they continue their period of mourning and celebration. And I said at the end, I may have staffed and pressed at SacAnime since the beginning but this was my greatest honor, to be able to speak alongside his family and friends as we paid tribute to a great man and a savior to all of us.