Memories

On this page we invite anyone who knew Eric to express anything you want related to him. More specifically we are looking for favorite stories, pictures, what he meant to you, important lessons he taught you, etc. You get the idea. We’re trying to illustrate to others who may not have known Eric the profound impact he had on our community in hopes that we can inspire them to make a difference.

So PLEASE, send anything you want to share to eztribute@gmail.com and we’ll post it.

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One of the best things about Eric was that he always knew how to have fun. He could create it spontaneously or he could develop it like a grand master-plan of sorts. The zip-line, the death Saab, the summer were he decided he was going to learn something new every week (throwing knives was one I remember in particular) – the man was always on the move; he always doing something. One of my favorite memories of Eric is not actually one I got to witness but one that I feel, at least in my own mind, encapsulates Eric’s fun-loving spontaneity.

He was describing his road trip down to Bonnaroo I believe, a trip that he had long looked forward to making. Now a trip from Upstate New York to a 700-acre music festival in Tennessee is a long, long drive. He told me how once you got past the cities and suburbs that most of the highway driving was straight with no cars or any sort of vehicles in sight. In Eric like fashion he felt he needed to come up with some clever was to keep himself occupied on this long, boring drive. So, he decided to read a book – while driving. But not read with one hand and steer the car with the other. No, no… Eric put his feet on the steering wheel and drove with his toes clutched around the wheel for a while and used his two hands to read a book. “How is that possible? Didn’t you swerve off the road or something?” Those were my first reactions. Naw, he said, it was easy. He just would glance up every once and a while and take a quick look at the road. If anyone else told me they did that I would have thought they did something completely nuts. But when Eric told me that, my only thought was: “you would do that.”

I have a lot of other memories of Eric that I cherish as well. Discussing the timely teachings of the great master philosophers Calvin and Hobbes, shooting off potato guns, playing Pretty-Pretty Princess in his basement, zip lining from the top of his house the ground, lighting his paper hat on fire… Gosh there are just so many good, goofy, wonderful memories of Eric.

I hope what people get out of this is an appreciation for life. I want people to see through Eric – like many of us do – how important it is to appreciate life and to just have fun with it. Do you what love, smile often, just be yourself. I think these are the lessons I took from Eric and that I take from my memories of him. It was a great thing to have known him and I feel so fortunate that I did.

-David Jones

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There is not a day that goes by that I do not think back fondly on my memories with the Burnt Hills Cross Country team. Eric Zagorda was at the heart of this team, and my memories could not have been so pleasant without his smile, energy and influence.

One moment I remember in particular is a snowy day when we were out on a run in the trails behind the school. My group was tired of the cold weather and the challenge of plowing through a foot or more of snow covering the trail- until we crossed a small wooden footbridge and a group of boys ambushed us, with Eric as their fearless leader. A spirited snowball fight ensued and even when we decided to finish our run, we no longer trudged along but smiled and laughed the whole way back.

My point is, Eric changed our lives on an everyday basis. He found joy and opportunity where others might have found something to complain about. He had fun and invited others to have fun with him. I wish I could have known Eric better, but I know that Eric’s energetic and positive spirit inspires me to try to live as he did.

-Liz Montgomery

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A week ago today was 6 months since Eric died.  I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately.  The other day I attended lecture being given by a mechanical engineer who is completely turning the world of foot orthotics upside down, (it’s actually not as lame as it sounds).  The guy basically disproved all of the old beliefs of foot biomechanics which old orthotics were based on.  He went through all of the beliefs that have been held by clinicians for years, relentlessly disproving each of them one by one.  He used logic, and reason, instead of blind faith, and face validity.  By the end of his lecture, my university department heads threw 50 years of experience with the old method out the door, and agreed to adopt his new method and open 4 research studies based on his new sole-supports.  The point is, the whole time I was watching this guy I was thinking, Eric could have done something like this, and he could have done it better.  Find a theory that didn’t make rational sense in the healthcare field, make up his own theory that made perfect sense, and then rip everyone a new one for accepting the old theory on blind faith; this was Eric’s style.  Eric was pretty psyched on the idea of becoming a biomechanical engineer, he toyed with the idea of becoming an oncologist, and a couple other professions also caught his interest in moments of brevity.  Overall though, his amazing mind was most definitely going to be used to help people, and it’s sad that those people will be left untouched by Eric.  Pretty much everyday I compare myself to Eric.  Eric could have done this, Eric would have understood this theory, or Eric could have ripped this lick of the guitar which I am now butchering.  Eric was a master mind, and I wish him and I could have grown up together to change the world as we saw fit.  Everyday I feel like I’m missing my wingman, and anything I do, I know I could have done it better with Eric still in my life.

-Tommy Durant

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2 responses

17 04 2009
Maura Kinney

Where to begin? Eric was one of the smartest, funniest, bravest, and craziest (in a good way) people I’ve ever known. I wouldn’t even know which memory to share because they are all so meaningful. There was the time when Eric and I were in the car together and I accidently drove up on the curb and almost blew out my tire. Being my frantic self, I was freaking out, but he was hysterically laughing and just rolling with my ridiculous driving antics. There was the day before he left for college and we hung out for 12 hours, just watching movies, being goofy, but also talking about serious stuff. That was one of the many great things about Eric – he was a goofball, but if you needed advice or help, he’d be there for you.

There were so many other great times together: playing Led Zeppelin in his basement, going to fancy restaurants together like Taco Bell and Friendly’s, the ridiculous nicknames we came up with for each other, staying up all night talking at Brittany’s.

He knew how to make anyone laugh. He energized people when they were ready to throw in the towel. We all miss him and we all have a better outlook on life because of him.

14 05 2010
Lisa Morahan

I saw a small paragraph in our local Pennysaver (?!). It was a small paragraph about a huge mission and upon reading the entire website- a huger (if that is a word!) person. Thank you all for sharing your intimate moments had with Eric, for a brief moment I felt jilted- never having known him. In some way, because of you and this mission, I do know him. This is more about raising money- it is about keeping his spirit alive in your hearts. His spirit is certainly alive and well, otheriwse I would not have seen the notice and written. I will donate for sure to your ride.

I myself, started an organization, last year going through chemo- floydwarriors.com. I had a vision as part of my website, of a hammer (my symbol) being passed across our country to show with God’s help you can Crush Your Demons and Rebuild Your Life. (I approached many motorcycle groups with this vision and got nowhere.) I am sorry for mentioning this, except I saw the article and saw ‘Across Country’ and thought perhaps this was a way to get my Hammer from coast to coast. It is a show of Faith and statement of ‘There is a God!’ and I am sorry if mentioning this is totally inappropriate- I thought I might submit this and have no other way to reach you and mention it.
I truly believe God works through all of us and some of us need to be on the other side to get it done. I don’t know how He picks who and when.
Again, I just had to write. I appreciate your love and show of friendship and am glad to help with your cause. Thank you for letting me see in Eric’s story and Good Luck to you all- you are simply amazing taking this on.
Yours Truly,
Lisa Morahan

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