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 R.I.P. Norman

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Street
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PostSubject: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:18 pm

My dear friend Norman Courtney has died. He was a great artist and friend for decades and he was instrumental in building Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle where he and I both worked for many years. Norman lived life in a big way and enjoyed all that life has to offer. While by the time I got to know him, back in the early eighties, he no longer rode a motorcycle, probably due to the sane influence of his wife, Yuriko, he nevertheless loved telling stories of his hooligan adventures on his Norton Commando in his younger years. Yuriko told me today that in the last few days of his life he was in good spirits and feeling pretty good and he began talking about getting a motorcycle again and taking her around the country on it. And she asked me to do something that I will be honored to do. She asked if I would carry some of Norman's ashes with me on my motorcycle trips so that his wish can be fulfilled. I'll be honored to have him along for the ride.

Here's a little video of Norman in better days talking about his life and his art. Rest in peace, my friend.



Last edited by Street on Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steak
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:25 pm

Oh hell Pete, so sorry to read of your loss. R.I.P. Norman, but looking forward to traveling with you.

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:22 pm

Sorry for your loss, Pete. May he rest in peace.


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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:37 pm

Sad to hear. I haven't seen the whole vid as I'm using my phone but I SO covet those great glasses frames he's wearing in the opening seconds! Those alone tell me he was a ton of fun!

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:56 pm

He had different glasses for different occasions, always fashion conscious,  my friend, Norman.  He was always well dressed and acutely aware of how people would react to him based on what he wore. It tickles me to watch the video. You can see how he's always performing, aware of his audience, and always aware of, and impressed with, himself. In U.S. presidents this can rightly be considered a disgusting and boorish trait - in artists, and close friends, it comes off as endearing and eccentric and makes you miss the bastard all the more. Norman grew up in New Orleans and he never shed his Mardi Gras roots.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:30 am

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:52 am

Street,

Your post struck home in a very personal way. 3 weeks ago my best mate Jeff was taken away suddenly by a brain hemorrage.

Cos his wife discouraged it, he wouldn't ride motorbikes anymore. However we often were in the Barn finding an excuse to work on engines or to weld up something. To this end, when a GRiSO came up for sale last December I grabbed it, partially for he and I to have a project over the winter but also if I had 2 bikes he might get a chance to ride one. After all ' he hasn't bought it...' so that's still okay with the wife.

We were trying to figure out the tappet noise when he went into the hospital for tests. And while he was bored in there, we were texting as I opened up the sump. See 'Didn't want to hear this..'
My last text was to the effect ' found the bike problem. Fixed it. Now you're turn.'
Stupid. But.

Next weekend there is a Guzzi Rally I'm going to take the GRiSO to in Western N Y.
I have Jeff's hospital wristband to take with me. So like Norman, he can ride along.

Sorry to hear of your loss.


Last edited by Nobleswood on Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:20 pm

Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend Street.
Thanks for the video link, Norman certainly had passion for his work.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:03 pm

Sorry for your loss too, Nobleswood. Time spent with good friends is one of life's greatest pleasures and you just never want it come to an end.

Here's a piece of Norman's artwork that he gave me years ago. It perfectly illustrates his twisted sense of humor. I actually never used it, preferring to have it as a piece of art, but note that it came pre-stained with nicotine and cigarette ash. It's a cast-glass ashtray with a pair of human lungs where you rest your fag, surrounded by the phrase "The Natural Selection Process at Work".

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:36 pm

That's funny !

Sounds like he was a character.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:21 pm

Nobleswood wrote:
...Sounds like he was a character.

To say the least! I could tell you stories all night long...
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sun Jun 04, 2017 1:42 am

Sorry for your loss Pete. This world needs more people like him.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:39 pm

When Norman referenced the "Garden of Earthly Delights" by Hieronymus Bosch, I couldn't help but think of the 1975 album cover for Elton John's "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" - I used to marvel at all of the imagery while my older sister was spinning it on the Hi-Fi...

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:25 pm

Pete, you may have noticed this - in the credits of the video, "special thanks" are given to ... Hieronymus Bosch...

Sorry I never got the chance to meet Norman. You were (are) lucky to have him as a friend.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:39 pm

Street and Nobelswood, I am sorry for your loss.
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:38 pm

Got together with Yuriko this afternoon so I could get some of Norman's ashes to take with me to Moses Lake in a couple of weeks.

I stuck in one of my favorite pictures of him dressed as Louis XIV. Yuriko said he would have liked to be able to dress like that every day, living like a king, being waited on hand and foot. What a character, I'm going to miss you, Brother, now let's ride!

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:41 pm

sory for your loss peter, nice video and he left a lot behind to remind folks of him
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:17 am


I feel badly that I only just now saw this thread.

Condolences from this end, but it would seem there are many smiles among their friends for those two fellows, too. Not a bad epitaph.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:01 pm


King Norman I

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:45 pm

Pete, that's fantastic. Did Norman have a connection with Moses Lake? Looking forward to your visit and will welcome Norman to my new town...

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PostSubject: Re: R.I.P. Norman   Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:00 pm

Naw, it's just the first stop on the next phase of the grand tour of life. The beginning of Norman's farewell tour, just one of many resting points on my own never ending journey, and since it involves hanging out with people I love, it only seemed appropriate. See you next week.
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