W I T H O U T M A S K
1960 - 2001
Victoria, BC Canada
Hans was the skateboard king and when he died a hundred friends showed up at his funeral with their skateboards to honour him. It was Hans who first pushed for a skateboard park and he'd become a legend with daring feats on his own board and for the fact that he could draw. A cousin said, "As sad as it is that he's gone, it doesn't surprise me that he burned out so young. He was such a bright light." And his friend Dustin Jak fondly remembers that, "If he came to your house, there'd be something on your wall by the time he left, whether you wanted it or not."
Schizophrenia often manifests itself during the early twenties and so it did with Hans. He kept going off his medication, though, because it stopped him from being able to draw. And finally he gave up the fight. He didn't want to be a burden to his parents and he didn't want to live if he couldn't be free to be himself.
"Dead?" he scribbled in a 1998 drawing. "No, just asleep, kids."