Tribute to Harold Lang - by Mike Crusoe
I want to pay a brief tribute to my friend and gung fu brother Harold, pictured here with our teacher Jesse, who passed away recently. Harold was the first guy I paired up with when I started training with Jesse. He was very, very fast particularly when it came to straight punching and sticking. What impressed me too as I recall was that someone as good as he was did not have a big ego when it came to working out with others. He was very comfortable and confident in who he was and felt no need to try and pour his ego out on anyone just to try and prove some self centered point. I was very green when it came to the aggressive and physical nature of Jesse's non-classical gung fu training when I started and Harold was very patient and encouraging with me as a beginner. It's kind of hard as I write this thinking back to our lengthy conversation this past summer of how we were looking forward to getting together again to workout and just hang. He loved sleeping on the living room couch his last time here in Seattle when he stayed with us, and I could always count on him to have coffee brewing in the morning when everyone woke up. In fact one morning I woke up before he did to surprise him by making the coffee.......which I have to admit I'm not all that good at. When Harold tasted the coffee he said "dude you got issues" (lol!).
Harold and Jesse were extremely close. Jesse was a support line for Harold during his health crisis, and Harold likewise for Jesse. I remember when Harold returned to the house one night after spending the day with Jesse taking him places, helping him stock up on groceries etc., and just in general making sure Jesse had things he needed. Harold clearly wanted to make sure he did everything he could before he left town again. When he and I sat down that night and talked about his day spent with Jesse, he made me realize some things going on with Jesse that prompted me to keep in better touch with him. My last and most memorable moments with Jesse was because of Harold and what he shared. I spent an entire day with Jesse in the spirit of Harold, taking him wherever he wanted to go to do whatever he wanted to do, and I am so thankful to this day for Harold's encouragement by example, not only where Jesse was concerned but about some things in life in general. And finally, after we lost Jesse, we talked about non-classical gung fu and some mutual concerns surrounding it. "In the end, Harold said, "it all comes down to the basics". "If we stay focused on the basics that Jesse taught us, his NCGF will live on, it's really just that simple".
No one could have put it better. I'm really gonna miss him. It hurts that he's gone, it really does.