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Leaving for the U of A - August 1988

Before Darren left for Tucson, we invited his friend John (from the Army) to fly up to Portland from Phoenix and ride to Tucson with him. Darren, like his dad's side of the family, couldn't find his way around the block. In fact, the first time he took the car alone, at 16, I thought I would never see him again.

On the day he arrived in Tucson, Darren met his great friend, Johnny Buck, the Mighty Quinn. They become best buds and Darren never talked about Johnny without saying, "I love that guy." Johnny keeps in touch and I, too, love that guy. He knows his kids, Nina and Oliver, have the very best guardian angel.


Darren with Mom in his messy room

Darren shared this house with two others his freshman year and it was SO disgusting. It is amazing they all didn't get food poisoning.


thanks to his house mate, Mike Lawson, who taught him neatness, which neither his mother, grandmother or the Army could do. Perhaps Mike's threats of physical harm were more persuasive........Seriously, I (his mom) would like to add here that if your son or daughter has not learned to clean their room by the age of 12, they are not going to learn it from you. So just give up, close the door and save all that precious time spent arguing over it. Those teen years go so fast and communication is what is lacking the most. Talk about what really matters and take away much of the strain. Perhaps, we'd all get along better if we parents weren't always nagging, punishing and yelling over messy rooms. A messy (filthy/disgusting) room is better than an empty one.

Darren pledged Lambda Chi Alpha his freshman year and made many good friends among his fraternity brothers. Darren had just started his junior year when he and five friends made a bad decision to leave early in the morning (actually very late at night) to get a great camping spot on the beach at Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Mexico for Labor Day weekend. They never made it to the border. Click to see our memorial at the accident site Darren and Maki died at the accident site about 6:15 a.m. Andy was air-lifted to Phoenix and died the next day (he was an organ donor). The three others, Eric, Stephany and Michael are doing fine today and keep in touch. I love them. Lambda Chi had a beautiful memorial service for Andy (U of A Chapter Pres.) and Darren. It was going to be a private fraternity service at the house but ended up in a campus church with hundreds attending. It was beautiful, sad and funny. I wish I had taped it.
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(Plant your love and) Let It Grow, Eric Clapton (played at Darren's Funeral)