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Charlie LaBenz passes

Say hello to heaven, Charlie

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Your Natasha is very rarely a downer, but this week I have to address a scene-of-the-crime issue that has thoroughly affected my entire person.

While on my most recent vacation in Hawaii, I was given terrible, awful news.

My friend from high school, Charlie LaBenz, died in a car accident on Guemes Island while attempting to avoid a deer. He was 31.

The next day, I carved his initials in the sand; I fell down by them, and I cried.

Sure, I rap about the nightlife here, but Charlie? He was in charge of it.

Charlie operated as DJ Soonami at the hottest clubs in Seattle, a dynamic and diabolical DJ, he was able to fuse his skills in art, photography and nightlife by creating promotional collateral that made Seattle hotspots the place to be.

The first time I met Charlie was when I was oh so young, and he was on a skateboard. Even in his adult world, he never abandoned the skateboard.

All of my gal pals were so in love with Charlie with his sleek, sexy Johnny Deppish looks and individual flair. He was always a different kind of beautiful to me.

Charlie and I had this mutual respect for one another that I’ve never had to describe before. We both just knew that we were the kewlest kids in school, and life.

He was an absolute celebrity in every sense of the word. He was passionate about people, he accepted them, and he did everything he could to help them.

He was the soul that people aspired to be.

Here is how he described himself on MySpace:

“In general ... i think i am an overall nice guy. However... i do have limits. Like the hip-hop song states, ‘Lean Back’ and if (I) tell you that, i ain’t talkin’ about dancing. Anyway ... I have come to believe that it all (our lives) comes down to WHAT WE KNOW and WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO. Myself? I strive to be free from negative energy, live with honor, respect and search endlessly for knowledge with high morals and sound values. ... BALANCE IS EVERYTHING. ... Keep it simple. ... It is our thoughts and actions (for the most part) that create our reality. ... Dreams do come true. Take care when wishing, foolishness produces that only of itself. ... Think BiG, appreciate and understand that granted wishes are often correlated to dedication, determination and drive related to the objective at hand. ... IT IS YOUR FOCUS THAT WILL FILL YOUR DAYS LIVED.”

He was such an amazing person, and I’m so very sad that he’s gone.

So now, as I’m situated with struggling through this emotional unrest and turmoil, there’s one idea that’s propelling me through all of it.

Charlie LaBenz will live forever.

And I hope that you do, too.

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