It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of my friend and fellow co-host BigCountry. More to follow #tweetfleet #eveonline— Dirk MacGirk (@dirkmacgirk) November 2, 2016
Seriously, fuck 2016.
I opened up Twitter on the train yesterday morning and saw the above tweet. At first I didn't want to believe it, but I knew Dirk wouldn't play around with something so serious. Then I read Dirk's piece on Imperium News (the site formerly known as TMC). Stop now and go read it. The rest of this post can wait.
|Dirk MacGirk, co-host, Open Comms Show|
Those who watched The Open Comms Show knew BigCountry was not in the best of health, but I'm not sure how many knew how sick he truly was. He didn't appear on camera anymore and I knew he was pretty much confined to bed. But reading the news was quite a shock.
I first ran into BigCountry's work back in the days when he did a weekend rock show on EVE Radio. That was probably back at the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011. Eventually he started broadcasting two shows a week when he began a talk show in addition to his weekend music show. I wound up searching for an iPhone app in order to catch the talk show on the train.
DJ Wiggles, EVE Radio and TotalEVE.comMan fucking life can kick you in balls, #RIPBC #tweetfleet I'm still in fucking shock that I have lost a friend. Been crying so glasses day pic.twitter.com/ffrjchFYxw— Jody Farenden (@WigglesGRN) November 2, 2016
BigCountry was full of big opinions and not afraid to let everyone know them. Some were good, and some were a little out there. Sometimes he got a little bit too excited and had to be reigned in.
As rough around the edges as the big Texan sometimes came across, he also had a big heart when it came to EVE. His mother introduced him to the game and perhaps some of that attitude stuck with him. When he thought something was a scam, he was not afraid to call it out. But when he found something he believed in, he would support it full tilt.
One of the hallmarks of The Open Comms Show is Tito's Homemade Vodka. Made in Texas, BigCountry discovered the drink that he and Dirk made so popular among some circles in EVE. But as I recall, their massive alcohol consumption was not always so prevalent, especially when the show appeared on EVE Radio. The player-run internet radio station runs on listener contributions and one way that BigCountry and crew raised funds was by drinking for donations.
BigCountry's journey through EVE ran the gamut, from a member of a Russian renter alliance to the CFC and finally Pandemic Legion. Along the way, his broadcasting activities touched literally thousands of players, if only for a few moments of listening to music back in the days before Pandora and Spotify.
Honestly, I can't include all the good things people posted about BigCountry. But I can let everyone know about an effort to help BC's family. He left behind a wife, Megan, an eight-year-old daughter Taylor, and a six-year-old son Carson. Dirk set up a Gofundme to help out the family. If anyone would like to make a donation, the link is https://www.gofundme.com/jeff-bigcountry-waltman-fund.
Thanks @MaxSingularity for this kind gesture on behalf of our brother @bigcountrytx79 #tweetfleet pic.twitter.com/xBsY3ZvCYa— AccessibleGamer (@accessiblegamer) November 2, 2016