and friend to 1000s

Joel Allen Platfoot was a man of many many talents - Webcaster, PHP Master, Web Designer, DJ, musician, great great friend, loving husband and father, and just an all around amazingly great guy. Joel's best talent - making everyone feel welcome.

Feb 8th, 2006, Joel was hit head-on by a young driver going way too fast on a slippery road. Joel was airlifted to a hospital in Indiana where for the next few weeks he fought hard and was winning the battle to keep his legs. He was moved to the next phase of his rehabilitation, in Kentucky, and couldn't wait to get on with the therapy that would make him walk again. On February 24th, 2006 Joel succumbed to complications which occurred with his blood pressure as a result of the accident.

Joel will be sorely missed by everyone who ever had the absolute pleasure of meeting him in person, or chatting online. For me personally I took his departure pretty hard. I've never been one to believe in the whole 'kindred spirit' thing, but after getting as close to someone as can be possible in an online friendship, I would have to say that that is exactly what we became. Joel and I spent countless hours on MSN, and he alone is responsible for helping me get my act together with my own web radio stations, and particularly 'Cruize Rock', which was modelled off what Joel was doing with  'Generation Rock Radio'. The day Joel left us I was due to call, and I was later told by his wife that this was a big part of his conversation, and he was excited that I would be calling that day.....

.....unfortunately I was informed early that morning online of his passing, and when I made the call anyway, it was his widow with whom I spoke, rather than the big guy himself. I didn't believe it until I heard it from her, and to this day I still miss Joel.

More than 17 years later I still program Joel's labour of love, 'Live Cuts', and will continue to do so as long as I have anything to do with my own web radio station.

Please take a moment to read the obituary below, posted by his family, and please spare a thought for his Wife and children, so suddenly and tragically left behind.

This was edited and updated from Pottsie's web blog by Quasi for the 17th anniversary of Joel's passing.



Lessons Learned

Sitting down thinking of something witty to write about this month is down right impossible. Last month I chose to write about the problems with certain individuals in our community-that wasn't exactly funny reading-and this week with the passing of Joel, one of the people that article was meant to defend-it all seems so trivial. It's always amazing how we can find lessons in the death of others, and how their lives can teach us so much about ours.

Joel's death has left all of us bereft, making us spring to action, offer our services and to "do what we can" to help out. Why aren't any of us doing this stuff before death pays a visit. Oh I'm just as guilty, but it's a thought that haunts me always.

A few years back my Sister-In-Law, a woman I loved deeply was taken from us at 44 years of age by Breast Cancer. She left behind 2 young children, a husband and a family that misses her terribly. When she was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer the family was shocked but No One thought it would be fatal. We put up a call to arms, and decided to march against Breast Cancer. What a shame it had to take my Sister-In-Law's diagnoses for us to get involved with the cause, or any cause for that matter. Again, myself included. Kathy passed away, and we continued to walk yearly in her name, but it's not enough. Many times we do something because it helps us to some how feel better about ourselves, not too often concerned with how it will benefit someone else. I'm not saying in all cases, but sometimes when tradgedy strikes we need to do something immediately to feel better, but often times, the cause fades, our committment erodes, and we are back to the same routine of waiting for something else to jolt us in to action.

9-11 is another great example. I was involved heavily in 9-11, having worked the recovery site as a Police Officer and a volunteer handing out food to other Police Officers and Fire Fighters. I was also the lead investigator for the deaths of 4 of the residents from our town. So when bodies were recovered or identifications were made I made the notifications. It was amazing the sudden out pouring from the nation. The indignant stand of "How Dare they" and the "waving of Old Glory" from every street corner. Where are those flags now? Where is that Patriotism? It was the American Crisis all over again, "THESE are the times that try men's souls." I'm not trying to turn this article into a political debate, I'm simply trying to point out lessons learned.

With Joel's passing, I heard many people step up to the plate and offer assistance, and it is beautiful to watch a community come together to aid in a time of crisis, but as with what was stated above "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." Reverse it, and consider the time that we don't have a crisis as our crisis, who will stand for the good fight and be there when everything appears hunky dory. Who will be there to offer their hand to someone who seeking help and advice, we all say we will, but only a few really ever do. Joel was one of those that stood and fought the good fight. He WAS there always not just in the Sunshine, but during the crisis. Joel was a ROCK who never shrank away from what really mattered. In Joel's own words from his last rant "It is time to move forward, itís time to move on, itís time to look into the future of the new WU. Letís all get along and learn from one another. Letís help when help is needed, listen when someone needs listening to and most of all letís relax and enjoy what we all love to doÖ..webcasting!"

I felt the need to hug my kids a little tighter and tell them again how much I loved them-What a shame that we need a death to be reminded that we should NEVER take our lives or the lives of those we love for granted. We should be hugging our children tighter every day and telling them and our spouses or significant others I LOVE YOU everyday and mean it when we say it.

I went to a Father Daughter dance on Saturday, the day after Joel passed away, I felt a wave of emotion well up in me each and every time I slowed danced with my 9 year old daughter. I looked into her eyes and she could see the tears welling up in mine, and with all the wisdom a beautiful 9 year old girl can muster, she said "Don't cry Daddy, everything is all right." The emotions came out and I hugged her and kissed her head, and said "Yes Sweetheart, everything is all right."

Thank You Joel, for another lesson learned. God Bless You and Rest In Peace Rock God!