|I grew up watching River Phoenix grow up.
At age 19 I was a confused young man
with no sense of self.
I ended up in the army, and quickly realized
that I was not happy with the situation.
While in the army I came across an incredible
magazine interview with River.
Here was a guy my age who knew what he believed
in, and who wasn't going to be a follower.
What I took from that article and still carry
today, is that you just have to be
true to yourself and to not worry about
what others think of you. It inspired me.
I always felt like I owed him a thank you
for that. I still have that article.
I remember where I was when I heard he had died.
I felt like a best friend had died,
even though we had never met.
So thank you River
for your kind words of wisdom.
Even though you never spoke to me, you did.
|Michael Coughlin - Roanoke, Virginia,
February 7, 2006