My friend, Harold Daniel Cherney would’ve been 70 today. He passed away three years ago, due to the fact that polio had left his body in an unfavorable condition, and if I remember correctly, he was also suffering from muscular dystrophy. Toward the end of his life, he grew increasingly frustrated by his physical limitations. I however, prefer to remember him as the Paratransit Prophet. Harold was the epitome of a modern-day Renaissance man. He was a disabled rights advocate, an artist in both the traditional and digital sense, storyteller, a poet… But above all that he was the no bull shit Sage. He’s one of the reasons I finished my Associates degree in multimedia, a program which focused primarily on 3-D graphics and animation; something he was extremely handy with. He often gave me a much needed trip to his own dark places, and as we commiserated, he showed me that there was a way out. A proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It’s for him that I write this.
Paratransit Prophet with your futuristic space chair,
Hydraulics abound, it’s as if you were floating on air.
Artistic vision the likes of which I’d never seen,
the beauty of the mind’s eye shines a light like heavens beam.
Modern-day artist, and digital revolutionary.
I write this tell you that the burden was not yours alone to carry.
Your light, it shines, it continues burning bright.
I’ll continue to illuminate those dark places,
That we spoke of day and night.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t there toward the end.
I felt there was nothing I could say, do, or recommend.
I hope you can forgive me, because in the end…
I’d like to believe that it’s what someone does after the end, how are memory lives on that marks a friend.
There’s nothing in the world I can ever do to thank you enough,
For being there for me when times were truly rough.
Except to carry your memory with me,
And carry on your mission,
To make the world a better place, and stop this shitty cultural fission.
And maybe one day I’ll take your place,
As the Paratransit Prophet in this time and space.
But the man known as Harold Daniel Cherney, I can never replace.