Thursday 18 January 2024

Yopparai Kyabetsu

I read the sad news last night that a friend of mine, Yopparai Kyabetsu, passed away early Monday morning. I first met Yopp (aka. Mitch Vire) in the late 90's through a game we both played online, but the friendship long outlasted and outgrew our involvement with that. 

Yopp was one of life's eccentrics; a joker and a clown, with a boundless imagination and a compassionate heart big enough to embrace life and everything and everyone with it. Multi-talented, he was a singer and a songwriter, a storyteller and musician, a unicyclist, a walker and a kayaker, a mechanic, a carpenter, a blacksmith and a bus driver. He had an infectious enthusiasm and an insatiable curiosity. He was also a mean hand with a pair of knitting needles and a ball of wool. 

And a ukulele. 

Like a number of folks I consider my good friends, I've never met Yopp in person. Separate continents separated by an ocean, we met online and remained friends online. He was a friend and an inspiration, one of life's bigger characters, and I shall miss him.

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