Every time I think of that conversation, I have to smile. Because I never could follow his advice.
Who was Forrest Rose (1956-2005)?
A genuine original, Texas born and Iowa raised, a midwestern boy at heart. Bluegrass music was his passion, journalism his daily bread–and he excelled at both. To me, he was friend and colleague, mentor and inspiration. Warm and witty, comical, generous, clever, sometimes mercurial and often poetic (yes, he really talked that way), Forrest had more faith in my limited talent than I could muster at the time. And he helped to make a writer of me. Never one for looking back—and perhaps for that very reason—he was also a forgiving and caring presence during two troubled years of my life. It took me years to appreciate what a gift that was, and I never said thanks.
So rest in peace, my friend. You always had my back, and I have not forgotten.