Yesterday marked the 3 year anniversary of my good friend Dan Tenaglia's death. Last year when I remembered Dan's passing it was really hard on me. This year I didn't really know what to write or if I should say anything at all. What I do know is that Dan Tenaglia made a difference in my life.
While attending some rides this weekend with some friends, I thought about Dan and the influence that he had on me. I only knew him about 7 years, but he changed the way I think and view life. He helped me get over and understand a lot of the problems that I was dealing with including what happened to my brother John. I really missed him on Sunday's ride out at Landahl. Dan would always be there during a ride or hike to answer my questions. Sunday we came upon this old tree with some honeycomb. I stopped because I was interested in what type of tree it was and what animal would have torn it out. Dan would have been able to tell me everything I wanted to know including what animal did it and how old the tree was.
I still remember the first day I met Dan. I was out on a training ride trying to find my way back to Carolynn's parents house (we had just moved to Kansas City and were staying in their basement). I was up near Platte City on some back country road lost and very tired and I come upon a bike along side the road. No rider, just a bike and some gear. After a few minutes Dan comes out from the woods with some leaf from a plant in his hand and a camera. Dan was working on his Missouri Plants web page. Dan was a little lost also, be he did not care. He was out enjoying life and doing what he loved. We rode several more hours exploring and stopping every time Dan saw an interesting plant or wanted to take a picture. After nearly a full day on the bike I was exhausted, we both were. We kept going and finally made it back mainly due to Dan's motivation and positive attitude. "Failure is not an Option"
Dan Tenaglia made a difference in many peoples lives including mine. Do I make a difference? Do you? I look back on the people I have met and the friends I have made. In reality, I only have a couple of good friends. Sometimes I do not think I have any. They act like they are your friends, but they are not. Dan was one of the few that I call a true friend. Even in his passing, he is there for me. I ride with him often and he inspires me to keep going.
Dan Tenaglia Foundation for the Preservation of Natural Areas. Donations will be used to purchase land for conservation in his name. Please make all checks payable to the "Dan Tenaglia Foundation" and send them to: P.O. Box 4281, Opelika, Alabama 36803-4281.