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Jeff Burroughs aka Thing aka Adam Bramlett aka Liar

May 2, 2008
Last week, Jason sent me this email with the subject header,
“Thing was delicious

Delicious

sailing salutation corvette driven
champagne gutter punk
divine delicious memories

goddamnit motherfucker

you know how people are always curious about how people will react when they die?
I hope this is one of those pranks.”

I didn’t know what to think of it. The link didn’t make sense; was he saying Thing (aka Jeff??) was ??? no…
I wasn’t too sure what to make of this. Joke or? I didn’t think it was funny either way or maybe I just didn’t get the joke. Then we went to Wild Planet and Peter told us and Christy did too that Thing was dead. They were still pretty upset and shocked, and I guess I was too because when we went to leave, I told the Big Monkey, oh we didn’t say bye to Jeff, Christy where’s Jeff? and she said, you mean Thing– didn’t I tell you about Thing?

That’s when it actually sank in. Up to that point it was more abstract, I guess I was still processing that it wasn’t a joke. But then when I went looking for him, for the Jeff I’d known and joked around with since 7th grade…and couldn’t find him–that’s when it sunk in. I didn’t get to say goodbye to Jeff.

I guess none of us did.

Just a few days after his 46 birthday, my friend and fellow Burner Jeff Burroughs died of a massive heart attack. Here one day, cracking jokes, making everyone laugh at themselves and each other, gone the next. I went to the memorial at his parents’ house (the one Jeff grew up in) yesterday. I saw Kari and Tammi who I knew since we were all about 10; they’d been in kindergarten with Jeff– Tami grew up across the street from him, and Kari around the block.
So much that I’d like to say about Jeff is about myself–the challenges of fitting in to the world when you’re different. My choice was finally to “opt in” by joining student government and the newspaper and essentially running the school. Jeff’s way was to “opt out” through drugs. Years later when I came back to town, finding some places to be comfortable on the fringes here at Art City and downtown, I fell into a conversation with a fellow burner and local. He introduced himself as Adam Bramlette, a trust-funded porn star from Palm Springs, and I gave my ex’s last name as mine. But we realized we knew each other as other people…we bonded over those memories of people and places, and the pain of not quite fitting in. We admitted to each other our former names, our former lives which we wanted to escape. We rejoiced that we had found communities where we had friends, where we were comfortable, where we laughed and had fun. About a year ago I was able to introduce him to my nephew who is the son of a friend of his from kindergarten on
Tonight I will attend the big party at John and Dee’s barn by the beach to celebrate his life, and his presence in our lives; I will bring a bottle of an Australian granche “Bitch” that I got at the Grateful Palate warehouse sale which is really wonderful, just like Jeff. I love/d how who did and acted more or less how he wanted, and demanded what he wanted–and he got it. In the words of his friend and neighbor–

Larry Saltman (Sand and Sea Apartments).

I called him Jeffe’. Others called him Thing. He touched my life in a positive way.
We lost a friend. He made some uncomfortable and some comfortable, but made us all feel good. Jeff was a loving friend who was not afraid. Not afraid of making a statement. Not afraid of making an impression. Not afraid of living. And live he did.

Most people tread with care through life. Careful of the way in which we impress ourselves upon the general public.

Not Jeff. He managed to throw his whole personality into everything he did. One did not get a little of Jeff; you got the whole ball of wax. He brought to the door the BING-BAM- BOOM of life. I can only hope to make the same lasting impression that he did- without a thought.We lost something with Jeff’s passing, something big. But he left us a big thing too: a lesson in how to live. Live it large. Bite off big pieces of life; no, rip large chunks of life off the frame of the here and now and force them down the gullet of society and laugh while they choke on the reality of it all. Where ever he is, he is laughing at the farce he left behind and wants us to laugh with him

C0ME CELEBRATE

THOMAS JEFFERY BURROUGHS

ADAM BRAMLETT / THING / LIAR / JEFF !


Friday, May 2nd, 2008
Megaphones welcomed !

Light cocktails, food and mingling 6pm to 9 pm
Words and Boo Hooing 9 pm to 10pm
Heavy COCKtails and dancing ALL night long !!!

Pot Luck, Bring your favorite Food and/or Booze.
Beer donation by Anacapa Brewery Co.
Jimmy’s Pizza
and San Souci (the Sewer), Jeff’s favorite bar, is donating pizza.
DJ’s Keith Holland, Neko, Dr. Bombay

Please bring any mementos, pictures, etc.
We will show TIDBiTS. Thing’s cable show that was first aired after Superbowl XLll.
( I have 6 more episodes in the editing process).

John and Dee have ever so graciously offered their barn (hello Ventucky) for this festivity.
Thing would be very honored to have his final party here.

This is on agricultural land and there is a turtle sanctuary pond near the barn. Please take special care with trash and where you tread. Please car pool. It is possible to walk and bike here too. (not that Thing would ever dream of doing that).

(let me know if you need more details…)
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