Yesterday, the chasing community lost a well known, well respected chaser, man, father, son, friend... you name it. In consequence to this tragedy I only thought it fitting to honor the memory of Andy Gabrielson by doing a tribute profile to him. While he didn't get to answer any of my questions, I will pay my respect by leaving this blog post entirely to him. I have known Andy for five years now, we weren't best friends or anything, but would casually talk whenever we would catch each other. I last talked to him a few months ago. I can't imagine the pain this caused throughout his family and close friends and I would like to assume he died being a part of something he loved. Whether driving down the open road or chasing a tornado from close range. People like Andy don't come along very often. He exemplified the will to chase, got the most incredible video anyone will ever see, and defined the true hard-nosed passionate chaser. Well some may criticized his overly aggressive style, the point was he got results many of us wish we could have.
He was not only a dedicated chaser, he was a kind hearted humble individual that would give the shirt off his back for just about anybody. He never let his fame get to him and never carried an ego. I am not jealous of very many people, but I can say I was jealous of Andy and his ability to chase basically whenever he wanted. I wish I could live just a year of doing that..... While his career and life ended far to short, he has experienced just about all there was to experience and hopefully had no regrets doing it. His knack for finding diamond in the rough tornadoes didn't only boost his own resume, but likely provided early warning of tornadoes that otherwise would have gone undetected or not reported.
To sum it up, Andy G was the definition of a passionate chaser. He didn't need the fame or the glory and didn't need to be overbearing in his videos. He went out, chased his ass off, got incredible footage, and gave each of us one hell of a DVD. If there is one thing his death can teach us, is that this kinda of stuff can happen to anyone. On a casual drive, or the way to a target, on the way home from the supermarket. Please be safe out there. Since I have been chasing this has been the fourth death I have experienced. Andy now joins the late Jeff Wear, Matt Hughes, and Fabian Guerra. Heaven has one HELL of a chase team up there.
R.I.P Mr. G ... may God bless you, your daughter, your family, and your friends.
Those who were expecting an actual Q and A... please push the date back one more day. In light of this tragedy you all can understand why. Thank you.
Northern IL Storm Chaser but for today I represent FindTheTornado