Eric Norby is awesome. He was such a strange contrast to Marcus, and we made a quirky trinity of awkward jokes, weird beer, and enigmatic glances together. Norby came to Mizzou at a time when I didn’t think I’d be able to forge good friendships with new grads. I’m not sure why I thought this, but I guess I figured I was getting old and more distant from the newer grads coming into the program.
“Goddammit, Greta!” Digital Drawing, 2014.
Thankfully, Norby proved me wrong and became a good friend.
Sometimes irascible, almost never empathetic, always intelligent, Norbz has a very particular personality that stood out from the other grads in our program. He had a strong work ethic, clear sense of the value of his time and work, and a love for the experience of music and beer that made for some of the best times I’ve had in recent memory.
“Janus Head Norbz (Two Faced Portrait of Eric Norby),” Instagram Photo, 2013
We began making beer together – those were some amazing nights. Sometimes they resulted in shenanigans like this:
Oh Jesus from matthewballou on Vimeo.
Norby would have thrived in any graduate program. His ability to adapt and his smarts would have made him stand out anywhere. But I’m glad he spent some time watching The Big Lebowski with me, discoursing on the qualities of Ween and Radiohead, singing some Lee Hazlewood, and exploring the meaning of the western vista.
Thanks a lot, Norbz.
“It’s a Graying Out. (Portrait of Norbz),” Graphite on tracing paper, 8.5 by 3 inches, 2013.
“The Dude abides. I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. The Dude. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.” – The Stranger.
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