This I Believe

Krissy - Brookfield, Illinois
Entered on March 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

Getting Out of Life Alive

At approximately 6p.m. on Friday, March 24, 2006, Brooks ‘Hoot’ Brown died in a tragic accident when hitching a ride with a snowcat near Air Garden, the Telluride Ski Area terrain park. It was Hoot and six other skiers and snowboarders riding on the back of the snowcat 800 feet from their original point with one skier up front in the passenger seat. The teens were heading up for an after-hour photo shoot. Even though the snowcat was only supposed to carry the driver plus two passengers, snowcat driver Aaron Apanel disobeyed the law. This caused Hoot to slip off the vehicle and to be pulled under the treads of the snowcat. His legs shattered and a rib impaled one of his lungs. At 7:23 that evening, Hoot was pronounced dead.

Later that week was his funeral. Almost the entire population of Telluride, Colorado and the surrounding area showed up to morn his death. When I walked into the community center doors, even I teared up because even though I wasn’t close friends with Hoot, he was a big part of the community. As things quieted down, the speeches began in memory of Hoot. I got excited to see Mr. Lambert stand in front of the audience because he was the connection I had to Hoot. Both Hoot and I were in the same Algebra class with Mr. Lambert as our teacher. Mr. Lambert read a portion of one of Hoot’s essays aloud where Hoot quoted the movie “Van Wilder.” This quote is now imbedded into my heart, “Don’t live life too seriously, you will never get out alive.” Hoot did just that, and although he died for what he loved, he is still alive in the hearts of the people that know him.

I believe that you shouldn’t take life too seriously because you only get one life, live it to the fullest. Hoot’s attitude toward life became infectious to me, and since his death, I’ve been making time to try new things, and spend more time doing activities that I enjoy. I have been trying to make an impact on other peoples’ lives by showing them how to sit back, relax, and have fun so that they too, can get out of life alive.