Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy trails old friend, you will be dearly missed.

Man, what a life Andy Knapp. I cant even come close to writing something worth reading about on how full of adventure and amazing trips Andy's life was. I first met him when I was in 9th grade, my buddies and I would pull the three hour drive to Midwest Mountaineering. He always took us seriously, even though we were a bunch of dumb kids from southern Minnesota. He made us realize that we could go and see amazing places, and that we were maybe even obligated to. Later when I became involved in the outdoor industry I worked with him as a sales rep and he taught me even more about the industry and how to be successful in it. However, Andy perhaps taught me the most about life the past few years in his struggle with his illness. He taught me how to stay positive, how to live the good times hard and how to educate yourself and fight your struggle with intellect as well. Lastly, he taught me how to cry and how to admit to being scared, to look into the eye of the storm and say, hey I cant go this alone, I might need to reach out. Andy reached out to me last summer at the Two Harbors Kayak festival and we had one of the most intense and amazing conversations about life and death and his battle with cancer. I am not sure that I did much to help him but I do know that by the time we were done, we were both laughing and backslapping and then Andy went right back into his stories and his classic sense of humor.
My love and my heart as well as my wife Margarets, goes out to Andy's family as well as his other family, that of Midwest Mountaineering and all of the people in the Outdoor Industry who were fortunate to have worked with him.

1 comment:

greg said...

A wonderful tribute, Hansi. Thanks for taking the time to memorialize your friend. I met Andy only a couple times and he seemed to be a kind and empathetic person, as you've described him. His adventures loomed larger than life and I know he will be long remembered.