Andy lived across the hall from me (and down the hall from Danny Greene) during our first year at Wesleyan. I had never met anyone like him before, and I still have not. At some point in the first semester, I was taking a shower when Andy stepped into the next shower stall. Soon after he turned on the water, he began delivering a slow-building, impassioned declaration of his love for me. I listened with confusion, asking, “Andy, what are you talking about? etc.” I finished showering before he did and went to my room. A few minutes later, as I thought about what had happened, Andy knocked on my door. When I opened it, Andy stood wrapped in a towel and handed me a copy of “The Glass Menagerie,” open to the page of the monologue that he had just practiced on me. The only script modification that he had made in the shower was to change the name of the monologue’s recipient to my name (Bill).
For year 2 at Wesleyan, I was lucky enough to live across the hall from Andy again, in a different dorm this time. During this year, Andy used a video recorder to direct “Chopstacks,” a martial arts film starring me and our friend/hallmate, Andrew. Andy wanted to film in the campus library (hence the “-stacks” in the title), so we decided to silently mouth our dialogue. Later we dubbed in the audio, poorly matched with our lip movements, like in the martial arts movies we watched as kids. We joked about “Chopstacks” for years after that.
Year 2 was the only time that my father visited me at Wesleyan. He politely met my various friends, but when Andy burst into my room to greet him, my father’s face lit up. Andy is my only friend from college that my father asked about for years after we graduated.
After year 2, Andy & I did not see each other as much, but I always consider him one my closest friends from Wesleyan. He called me in the late 90s to tell me about the mental health crisis that he experienced in ’95, but my knowledge about mental health was poor at (& probably still is). I just thought that he went through a temporary crisis, and now he was fine. The last I heard from him was in 2019, when he wrote to me on facebook to ask if I was planning to attend our 25th reunion in 2020. I was planning to attend, and I know that seeing Andy again would have been one of the highlights. Of course, that reunion did not take place.
I don’t fear death as much as I used to, because if I get to see Andy again, it can’t be that bad. Thank you for allowing people outside of St. Louis to share in the funeral service.