I first met Scott when we were about 4 years old. We instantly became friends , spending all available hours of the day playing together. We’d play your typical children’s games; Hide and seek and tag. We had our favorite places to go. The “Boy Scout Place,“ the “Pine Cone Place,” We watched every episode of the 60’s television series Batman when it was in syndication. After Batman was over for the day, we’d play Batman and Robbin using old sheets provided to us from Scott’s mom , that we had used markers to color. Even though Scott’s mom would suggest that he let me play Batman sometime (which he’d never do) I didn’t mind being Robin, it was fun just playing the game.

Scott had the perfect front yard for playing sports. The front yard combined with his neighbors was laid out perfectly for us to have a small football field, back and forth twice…was the rule to score a touchdown. We would work on the football plays his dad had taught us, the flea flicker, the statue of liberty play were among our favorites. We spent most of our weekends together having sleepover at either of our houses. In his attic were these 2 beds that had these little pieces we could remove from the tops of the bed posts. If you held them in your hand they had the look and feel of a microphone. We’d grab these pretend microphones and sing into them as if we were the rock stars that we wanted to be…I’m glad he was able to make that dream come true.

Back when we were about 10 or 11, we had enough freedom to be able to go to Cubs games at Wrigley field by ourselves. We had a pretty strict regimen. Get on the “el” at 11:00 am arrive at the ball park by 12 noon. We’d get our bleacher seats (for about $2.00) find a nice comfy seat as close to the field as we could. We’d eat the same food almost every time. The hot dog, the fries, the Pepsi and the ice cream cup. After the game, maybe get a souvenir and then back on the train heading home. In 2003 we talked on the phone about every other inning during the Cubs playoff run. Scott was booking flights off of the internet and traveling to Atlanta and Florida to watch the games live. He wanted me to join him, but with work and family commitments, I just couldn’t do it…so he went alone. While he was at these games he’d call me on his cell phone while the games were in progress. It was great getting updates on how awesome it was that there were so many cubs fans in the other teams ball parks, thus nullifying the other teams home field advantage. During the Florida series Scott would be saying that they were gonna actually pull it off and make it to the World Series. I wasn’t yet a believer. Smooth they’re gonna do it, Smooth they’re gonna do it, he would say. So I would say, Scott, you know the history we’re dealing with here, I’ll believe it when I see it. All during the Florida series he constantly badgered me to admit that the Cubs were actually gonna pull this off. Then on October 14th…a day that no Cubs fan will ever forget. I received another of our Cubs game phone calls. It was getting close to the end of the game, With the Cubs leading the Florida Marlins 3-0 in Game 6 of the NL championship series and just five outs from their first World Series appearance since 1945. Scott asked me do you think they’re gonna do it now? Yes! I said The Cubs are going to the World Series. We started talking about plans for attending at least one world series game. Then, there was Steve Bartman and the fan interference incident. Our dreams of seeing the Cubs in the World Series were deflating before our very eyes and we could sense it. We argued all winter long as to who’s fault it was. His, for the constant badgering or mine for finally giving in to his badgering.

It goes without saying that Scott loved the Grateful Dead. He would marvel at the musicianship, the interplay of the band members, the uniqueness of the whole experience. We became avid fans of this strange band, trading tapes together of any Dead shows we could get our hands on. We went to many shows together. Every time you’d set off for a Dead show, you knew there was some adventure coming. Like the time we drove to Cleveland together for Vince Welnicks first show as a member of the Grateful Dead. Scott used to own this old Evanston mail delivery jeep, which he picked up for around $75 bucks. This truck had only one seat, the drivers seat. The driver sat on the right hand side instead of the left as is typical. My seat…….was a spare tire in the back….certainly not the safest…. The scariest part was when Scott turned around to reach for a tape and his knee knocked the truck into reverse while we were traveling down the interstate. Scott’s quick action brought the truck under control just as we were about to veer off of the road. Once we arrived at the show we were barraged with all sorts of jokes from fellow Dead heads about us delivering their mail. The shows were pretty good, but the journey was the best part.

Scott was the best man at my wedding. He performed his duties without fail, infact, he greatly exceeded all expectations. As the wedding was coming to a close, Scott said to me, “you have all of this beer left over at the bars, and the honeymoon suite is soo large, it’s just perfect for a wedding after party.” The idea seemed intriguing, but I never thought my wife would go for it. He said, Smooth leave it to me. He asked my wife and she thought it was a great idea. So, Scott went to work, he gathered all of the extra beer and had it moved up to our room. He spread the word to all the twenty something’s at the wedding and we proceeded to have one of the best parties I’ve ever been to…it was like a scene from a John Hughes movie.

In 2000 Scott and I both had babies born. We would speak frequently of the challenge of raising a child. Constantly comparing notes, about how to properly raise the little tykes. Or even just telling each other the funny little stories that the kids provide us with.

He was an accomplished musician. He played the keys in a number of bands. The Freddie Jones Band, Smokin’ Fish, The Junction, Citrus, and of course The Dark Star Orchestra. With DSO he had found that the band was filling a niche vacated when Jerry Garcia left the scene. Through his hard work and devotion, he was able to manage the band into a touring monster. The band traveled coast to coast playing to adoring fans everywhere. Just take a look at the DSO message board and you can see what I mean. Scott was able to touch the lives of many through his work with the band.

Scott loved all kinds of music from Acid Jazz to Zimbabwean Funk…Of course there is no such thing as Zimbabwean Funk, but if there was Scott would’ve listened to it. He also had his guilty little pleasure of listening to Gangster Rap, Snoop Dog was one of his favorites. He’d spend his free time sifting through dollar CD bins at used CD stores, dropping 20 to 50 dollars on some music that would eventually find a spot on his expansive wall of music.

Scott had a knack for making friends. My wife and I would always marvell at his ability to choose great friends. As the saying goes any friend of Scott’s is a friend of mine, this always rang true. He always surrounded himself with good people.

Scott was who he was because of his parents, he was a good person, friend, brother, musician and father because of them He was a proud big brother constantly gloating about Judd and Susie’s accomplishments. The light in his life was his daughter, he had so much love for her and he relished every minute he spent with her. He was proud of Mary Bush and grateful for how wonderful a mother she is to their daughter.

Scott has now joined that great big rock band in the sky and I know when I get there and join him, he’ll have a couple of backstage passes waiting for me.

-Aaron Haller