Toni Ragusa (Abdnour)
I'm truly sorry we lost contact during college. An incredible guitarist in both bands we played in, and a good close friend at SHS. I'll never forget the great times and his true friendship.
Larry (Scott) Richardson
Anyone know how Brian died? Years - O.K., *decades* - ago I was in Streator around Christmastime and I ran into his mom when church was letting out at St. Mary's (I'm pretty sure *I* wasn't in the church but just walking by). She told me Brian was in town, and she was sure he would be glad to see me. At that time I hadn't seen him since high school, which was at least twenty years before.
So I called him and went out to his folks's place to visit. He was sitting drinking beer and rolling cigarettes of Bugler tobacco and listening to old rock albums from the 60s and early 70s, and he told me of his life in Champaign running a school cleaning service and living with a gal with whom he had a great relationship. He mentioned that they played a lot of chess together, but also that she was a big fan of classical music and she couldn't stand to hear any kind of rock music. That's why Brian always came to Streator around Christmas every year - to hang out at his old home and listen to rock music. He also told me a very interesting story of how his life, or maybe his perception of himself and life, changed during the course of the summer after his first year of the U. of I. He said he'd been extremely shy during high school and he wasn't quite sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life after that first year of college, so he picked the one thing he loved the most - music - and immersed himself in it for the whole summer. If I remember correctly, he came to the conclusion that college and some high-falutitn' career weren't for him, and he got into the cleaning business.
Kind of an odd and quirky guy, but he was a good friend and certainly an independent thinker.
Rock on, Brian.
I was a friend of Brian's in grade school at St. Mary's. Today by coincidence, I spoke with Brian's sister Sheila (we both live in the Phoenix, AZ area). You probably know the story...Are you from Illinois? Are you from Streator? Then the fun begins...who do you know that I know. Sheila told me her maiden name was Crane and we went from there. I was sad to learn that Brian passed away in his late 40's. I remember Brian as a really serious guy who loved to play the guitar. I think it was 7th grade (maybe 8th) when he and another classmate (thinking Mike Barichello) played the song "Mrs. Brown you have a lovely daughter" in a talent show. They were definitely a big hit. I even bought a guitar and took a few lessons after that, but gave up soon after. I didn't connect much with Brian when HS started, but know we gave the nod - the one you give to friends passing through the hallways. Loved reading Tim Bryant's words and the others who remembered Brian here.