Jeffrey Martin reflects on fatty4ksu
He was different.
Not in a disturbing way, but Shwan was, well, odd. I’d never met someone like him, and that, in retrospect, must only be interpreted as a compliment. He was unique, someone whose passion for whatever struck his interest was unbridled and genuine.
I’ll admit it – his love for all things K-State, especially athletics, disturbed me at first. I thought he was messing me, being a new beat writer, and I wasn’t privy to much of the slang and backstories that permeated the various message boards he frequented.
I was a little defensive because here was this odd yet intensely curious K-State fan who wanted to know everything about his beloved Wildcats, and he wanted me to tell him. He cared so deeply, yet my initial reaction was one of insecurity – I recoiled.
But if Shwan was anything, he was persistent. And over the years, I embraced his idiosyncrasies. There were phone calls in addition to the e-mails. He’d pop up at the strangest times when I was in Manhattan.
After a while, I started looking forward to those meetings.
And now he’s gone.
One of my favorite movies is “Rushmore,” and while maybe it cheapens the memory of Shwan to compare him to a celluloid character, I can’t help but think of him whenever I watch the flick. He reminds me so much of the central figure, Max Fischer, who loved nothing more than his time at the fictional titular private school.
At one point, Max is asked what the secret, presumably to life, is.
“The secret, I don’t know…,” Fischer says. “I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then… Do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s… Rushmore.”
Substitute “K-State” for Rushmore, and that was Shwan.