Tuesday May 21, 2019.
I’m sitting in a little wood shack in the woods by the tracks listening to the rain on the tin roof and watching it hit the pine needle covered ground outside. I’m thinking about my friend Justin “Seven-Nine” Plue. Known to some by the nickname The Terminator for his steady demeanor and style of calling on jobs. “Seven Nine.” It always sounded the same. His red cyborg laser beam eyes covered by his silver shades definitely didn’t take away from the image. Nor did the time dispatch told him a client had just called to cancel the job he was about to pick up and he replied by saying he was already 10-8, which he was.
I met Justin sometime in 2006 or 7 while I was working for Quake. I admired his uniform look of all dark and unmarked clothing aside from maybe his Speedway shirt and his meticulously clean bikes. We talked hubs, wheels and frames with differing opinions on Campy. Eventually I recruited him for Quake and he was an all star choice. We got along well with similar societal views such as ‘why does everyone suck?’ He had a very strong work ethic and was no BS when it came time to get busy.
When things at Quake began to fall apart he told me he was applying at Godspeed. I was bummed not to have him as a co-worker but I knew it was definitely a much better choice. It was always a pleasure to see him around. He’d say, “SUP?” With a slight chin up.
Forces were reunited when I too jumped ship and made the swap to GS. The switch to a company with open air radios, good attitudes, or in Justin’s case, bad attitude in a good way, and even better banter, all the while handling big work loads and tight timing only increased my respect and admiration for him. Fridays were always good as he always had quotes from and references to the movie Friday ready to rifle off especially back and forth with Joey 24. That and his deadpan jokes about EPO always made me laugh. Beneath that tough as nails exterior was a sense of humor that’s for sure. These are the times I think back on and smile. Or the occasional long Friday nights at base with Ryan 36, Curt Six Six, Joven 88 and Andrew 84 or whoever else felt like staying late and talking noise.
The bike board was with out question missing an element of much appreciated trash talk about the sun and pleasant weather and e-bikes among other things when he moved to the vehicle board. I understood the move even though I gave him a hard time about it and tried to bring him back to the bike as many of us did.
After he moved on to pursue a career as a trucker we stayed in touch. Sometimes I’d hit him up after hearing the siren Tuesdays at noon. That always made me think of him because of his Tuesdays at Noon photo series. Once I moved on to pursue a non-career of riding trains we narrowly missed each other out on the road a few times. I’m still just sitting here in the gravity. He was a good, solid person and no doubt will be dearly missed by all who knew him. I have a heavy heart today and am thinking about 79 as well as my friends from the GS crew and the rest of the messenger community. My thoughts are with y’all.
A combination of quotes from Cock Sparrer, “When you’re churning up inside
And looking for the best way out
Or when the pressure gets too much
And there’s no help about
Hold on a little longer, try a little harder
‘Til we’re arm in arm together to the end
So remember, out there somewhere
You’ve got a friend, and you’ll never walk alone again.”
If you’re having a rough time I encourage you to reach out to someone. The SFBMA is a community. I’m not always the best with words but I‘ll listen if you need to talk.
I’m sure 79 is in his dungeon in the sky, ball gag at hand, sayin, “..messin with my money is like messin with my emotions.”
Miss you Seven Nine. Tuesdays at Noon.
Tuesday May 21, 2019.