I got a call from Taylor as I was wrapping up at work yesterday evening saying that there was a bit of an impromptu memorial being held for Al Sheppard up at Bloor & Avenue, the spot where he was taken this earth the night prior. Knowing that I was likely going to miss the planned memorial this evening, I hopped on Lucille and booked it. I boogied most of the way, riding with (ok, mostly passing) the bike cops that were also on their way to the scene.
I got there to find a good number of local messengers and bikey types holding court on Bloor street, sharing stories about Al and doing so publicly in an effort to draw attention to their fallen friend.
As the group agreed to roll out without any major incident, the Police responded in kind by leading the procession to the last place anyone saw Al on Seaton Street, stopping traffic when need be to allow the group safe passage. Say what you will about cops, as I often do, but they treated the event with the respect it deserves and for that they deserve the same.
As Al’s friends began to share stories we respectfully offered our condolences and left the ‘wake’ for those who knew and loved him to share their grief without spectators.
Not surprisingly; as we rode home Taylor almost ate a ‘right hook’ at the hands of a Cherokee being piloted by a human penis yammering away on his cell phone.
There is a public memorial being held tonight @ 5PM – Meeting at Bay & Bloor and riding west to Avenue. Please go and show your support if you can.
I’ve been following the case for the last couple of days but I’ve stopped short of saying much about it until some of the details begin to unfold. My feelings on this incident are very much informed by my experiences as a cyclist in this city, one who has his fare share of confrontations with motorists, so I doubt that I have anything interesting or insightful to add to the story.
It’s awful and whether or not there was a mutual altercation no one deserves to be dragged to their death by a two ton machine and any person who would willingly do that to another human being, even in the heat of the moment, deserves all the worst of what this life has to offer them.
The Funeral Procession: