Byron E. Quick III, 55, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 at the University Hospital in Augusta, Ga. Mr. Quick was a native of Richmond County and a longtime resident of Waynesboro. I met Byron Quick in 1998 at the Bujinkan Atlanta Dojo. I was going through a rough stretch as my marriage was ending, and we hung out several times after class, going to local restaurants for dinner. Byron lived in Waynesboro, and drove about 180 miles to attend class. He worked weekends at a hospital, and attended class during the week. He eventually asked if it would be okay if he spent a few nights a month at my house. He would try to drive down every other Tuesday, go to class, spend the night, go to class Wednesday morning and Wednesday night, and then drive back Wednesday or Thursday. Byron and I became very good friends. He had been training, on and off, in the martial arts since the 1980s. He read extensively, so he had great background knowledge of Japanese martial arts, in fact he had a surprising knowledge of a wide range of subjects. He supported me when I joined the Army after 9-11, storing many of my things, and offering a place to stay when I left active duty in late 2003. I took care of him after his stroke in 2004, as he emotionally supported me during the same time as my father died an early death from cancer. Byron was a complicated person, in some respects. Born in small-town Georgia, he had never quite fit in with most people of his generation. A bookish young man, he had explored the world through his reading, beginning at a young age. He had joined the Army Reserve when members were permitted to wear “short hair wigs” over longer hair in the post-Vietnam era. Byron was no stranger to adversity. His father had neurofibromatosis, a hereditary disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves. These tumors can cause incredible pain or become malignant. Byron had this disease, as well, and feared he might eventually lose some or all of his motor functions, as his father had. He had recurrent pain in his legs from tumors, and had several of his exterior vertebra removed during a spinal operation in 1994. A hard blow to his upper spine after that date could have killed him. Byron also was diabetic, and had a stroke in 2004 that left him with balance problems and almost no vision in his left eye. Byron was also a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, in addition to being a heavy smoker. Between recovering a lot of property from customers who had defaulted while he was in the furniture business, and drawing a strong line in the sand to the bullies in his high school class, Byron was no stranger to physical danger. Byron loved shooting and the shooting community. He had long enjoyed good firearms, and he blamed me for his renewed interest. After we became friends, his firearm collection grew extensively, with most of his discretionary income going for firearms and gear. I joined The Firing Line when it started in 1998, and told Byron about it. He joined and loved the online community, and was a staff member of The High Road since it began in December of 2002. After I left the Army in late 2003, several of the THR staff members met together at the hunting cabin on land Byron had hunted since he was a child. This was one of the high points of Byron’s life. Though not everyone could be there at once, some of the pictures taken from that meeting can be seen here. Byron’s friendship with Al Thompson, Art Eatman, Derek Zeanah, hso, Johnny and Matt Guest, Jeff White, Kaylee, Oleg Volk, Rob Pincus, and especially Tamara was a source of pride and great joy. Byron had no living close relatives, and we became his family. Byron was afraid of growing feeble as he aged. Several months ago, a mutual friend in the medical community estimated Byron had four years left. Byron estimated less. He could have died from any number of causes, and I am somewhat sad I’m not sure exactly what killed him. Byron won’t grow feeble, but he will be missed as a stubborn, ornery, argumentative, frequently brilliant man and loyal friend and fascinating raconteur. Byron’s idea of the afterlife was interesting, and a bit hard to characterize. I am happy he is finally at peace and without pain. Goodbye, buddy. Here is a picture Oleg took at the Thanksgiving, 2003 get-together. Byron was always very proud of it.