I got some tragic news this week. I’ve mentioned a number of times that the character Besser is loosely based on a real guy with the same last name who used to work in sporting goods at our local Bi-Mart. My old friend, Scott Besser, passed away on July 2. Though I haven’t talked to Scott or seen him for years, I wanted to pay him tribute here.

Besser

If you have known me for very long, you may know that I have a nickname “eef” that stuck pretty good back when I was in various rock bands. Scott was the one who gave me that nickname. He called be Beefin’ instead of Ethan. Then he called me beef. Then he eventually shortened it to “eef” and that became what most people called me for a good five to seven years. It’s still my email address, and I still sign my artwork “Eef”. He played drums in a couple of those bands, including Lunaractive, he was our first drummer. When I was a YoungLife leader, he came to camp and I was his cabin leader. We spent a lot of time together on that trip. I remember helping him get over his fear of the zip line and he got addicted to it after that.

Besser was a character, that is the best word I can use to describe him and that is a big compliment because he made life funnier than it would have been without him, and now that he’s gone there will be a void. We lived hundreds of miles apart over the years, and as far as I know, he never got on the social media bandwagon, so we never reconnected like I have with so many others from days long past in Coos Bay. I searched for him on Facebook now and then and never found him. I’d trade many of the random old acquaintances popping up on Facebook for ol’ Bessy. He was a guy who always made me laugh. He had his own way of saying things. He didn’t imitate others, he invented his own style of humor and it was infectious.

My character, Besser may look different, but he carries the name because I wanted him to have that personality that Scott had. I don’t think I’ve done the man justice, honestly, but I hope in some small way his memory is honored and the character in my comic will be seen as a tribute to the guy who named me “eef”. Rest in peace ol’ Bessy. I’m sorry we never reconnected, and I’m even more sorry now that I know that opportunity has passed.

 

Ethan