alan-bechtold-johnny-rocketsLast weekend, I attended the Earn 1k a Day seminar. There, I met somebody I'd been friends with for a long, long time online.

I first “met” Alan Bechtold in 2011 on Facebook. I'm sure I reached out to him because we had mutual friends. He graciously accepted my friend request and then we began a great 4 years as online friends.

Last Saturday, I met Alan in person. We struck up a conversation as if we'd known one another for years (and I guess, looking back, we had). That conversation that began as a “Great to meet you finally in person” turned into a very long 5 hour conversation that covered everything from BBS marketing back in the '80s, to biz opp in the '90s, internet marketing in the 2000s, to his latest venture, publishing.

We tried to find a place to eat. We hit a couple holes in the wall off the strip. They were all too crowded. So we walked toward the Strip and found a food court with a Johnny Rockets and a Nathan's. I grabbed a hotdog and he got a chocolate malt.

We were there with a couple of friends. We all talked until we were tired.

We then walked back to the hotel where we met (after the E1kaday seminar) and parted, saying we'd definitely have to do this again.

Sadly, that time will never come.

Alan died this past Saturday. He was having lunch with friends, felt sick, went to the restroom, and then to the hospital. He died, after having come back to life twice.

The third time his heart stopped, it stopped for good. We lost a good one.

Alan was a great human being. He gave of himself generously, and with grace.

I didn't grab a picture with him because I took for granted that we'd meet again. I regret that. A lot.

POINT: Don't take life for granted. It's fleeting and can be taken away from you at any moment. Nothing is guaranteed. Love the ones you're with and always treat your last encounter with them as truly your last.

Because it very well could be.

With love,

Bill

 


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  • Was on an expert panel with him at a couple different events and talked with him on the phone a handful of times after that. Loved his insights and his quick, sharp wit. He was a straight shooter in an industry than can tend to attract a good bit of hucksters. He will be missed for sure!

    • He was a sharp, sharp guy. Witty, charming, but didn’t pull punches either. My kind of guy – probably why we got along so well. Thanks for sharing, Thom.

  • It isn’t often we get to meet in real life someone we first met online. I’m glad you had that chance, Bill. But I know all too well that horrible experience of sudden loss and regret, wishing you could have spent more time or done one more thing with him. Maybe he wasn’t a close, life-long friend or loved one, but the loss is still there. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing.

  • A heartfelt tribute to a gentle giant. How privileged you are to have met him – for me it would never be on this earth. I’ve been familiar with him and his work for more than a decade. Like you said, never take for granted and make every meeting count. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

    PS: one of guys who paid tribute on his timeline shared a short story of Alan about his pot-smoking monkey. Permission was granted by Alan back then to share when he’s no longer around. That time has come. But what a way to say goodbye – in that booming voice and belly-deep laughter:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2ek8g1h5m8s1p1/Alan_Bechtolds_monkey_11-19-2007.MP3?dl=0

    • Ah man, you’re going to have to share who shared that. You can PM me in Facebook if you want ๐Ÿ™‚ That was a funny story PLUS it cheered me up. THANK YOU ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Alan was my dad and the best friend I ever had. I look like him, share the same quick wit, laughed with him throughout my life… The propensity for puns flows through my veins, just like Alan. He was an entrepreneur, writing and publishing from his little office in our basement for many, many years– because he was, before all else, a stay-ar-home dad to my brother and me. I’m proud to have inherited his author’s DNA…I, too, write for a living.

    In the coming months I will write about him for the first time yet. Maybe. How strange this life is, how fleeting and uncertain. I miss him every minute and more than anything, i regret that he last saw me in the midst of aggressive chemotherapy treatments for stage IV cancer.

    But perhaps the most surreal thing of all is to find myself suddenly lost in a moment– like right now– when I blink my eyes and open them no longer a woman, but a little girl, needing my daddy and aching with the knowlede that he is gone.

    Alan was a wonderful man. I’m so proud to be his daughter. I had the best of them all.

    • WOW – thanks for writing in, Heather. Your dad was a special person and he made me feel like we’d known one another for years. I miss him, too. I lost my mom a few days after your dad passed away, and I know exactly how you feel – no longer an adult, but a little boy, needing and wanting my mom and knowing I’ll never see her again. I often–OFTEN!–have moments where I think, “I should call my mom,” and then I realize – there is no doing that ever again.

      It hurts. I’m not sure time heals. But the scars do fade, I suppose. I hope they do for you, as well. Take care. And feel free to reach out any time.

  • Alan was my dad. He taught me everything, was always there for me, and even worked from a home office in our basement so that he could be a stay-at-home parent to the kids he loved with all he had.

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this story. He was loved and admired by everyone he met, and I’m so proud to be able to say he was my dad. โ™กโ™กโ™ก

    • Heather, I adore your dad. He was a great man and I loved him. I’m so glad I finally got to meet him in person. It was a “chance” meeting in that I was in Las Vegas for a seminar and he and Warren Whitlock just showed up. We had been friends online for years but had never met. I truly cherish the 5 hours we spent talking, walking, and eating ๐Ÿ™‚

      I was utterly shocked when I found out a week later that he’d suddenly died. I’m still in shock about it. We all lost a good friend that day. And you lost your dad, and I know full well how that feels – I lost my dad when I was 12. And nearly 40 years later, I still remember that night like it was yesterday.

      I hope you’re getting along well. It’s hard. But it’s how this world works.

  • WHO, that knew MR. Alan, (as I always called him, which lead him to realize that it was I who was in the room at a packed seminar when I called out to him “MR. Alan,”…He smiled, turned around from across the room and said “Somewere in this room is a fellow Hemingway named Patrisha. Where are you Patrisha?”) didn’t love him. He taught me soooooooooo much! He was so patient and such a wealth of knowledge that that he always got my undivided attention as he mesmerized me whenever he spoke.

    I will never forget him and I too loved him dearly.

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