Way back a long time ago, in the dim prehistoric days of social broadcasting, I met a unique guy with the name of Roller. It was on Yahoo Live and for those of you who were on Yahoo Live… it was the Wild Wild West of the broadcasting world for a few glorious and insane months. Roller fit right in. He had a great sense of self-deprecating humor and was an early adopter of the webcam overlay packages that were available at the time. I was doing a show one night and he popped up on a guest cam, tinted RED as a fire engine, with animated flames coming up from the bottom of the frame and enormous horns superimposed on his forehead. He gleefully typed in chat “I’M IN HELL!, get it?”. He was never one to let his infirmity slow him down or get him down.
Roller loved what is euphemistically called “classic rock and roll” and loved to share his music with one and all. He fell into doing shows pretty quickly and made a lot of friends with equal speed. I never met a single person who didn’t like him once they got to know him, which leads me into a True Roller Story. He was doing a show one afternoon, and I sort of dragged a new-to-the-site female into his cast. She had never seen Roller before, and shortly after we entered his channel, she PM’d me and said “This guy looks weird.” I replied “He’s a quad, think nothing of it.” She replied “A quad? What’s a quad?” I realized I had not given her a detailed enough explanation, so I told her that “quad” was short for quadriplegic and explained briefly what had happened to him. To make a long story short, that woman never missed another of his ‘casts after that day. Once she spoke to him that first time, he worked that magical southern charm of his all over her and he had another friend for life.
When Yahoo Live bit the dust we all migrated to the various available webcasting sites and eventually washed up on the shores of BlogTV. There was an afternoon show on BlogTV hosted by a guy whose ID was justROBme2 (a nice guy, technologically challenged to be sure, but a nice guy) that was heavily attended. When Rob would sign off there would always be much discussion about who was going to go live next. Eventually, Roller took over the post-Rob time slot and an internet star was born. Roller’s sure-fire mix of mainstream rock and his easy manners coupled with a fairly friendly chat room began to attract more and more viewers.
As time went on, Roller began to trim his hours a bit and cut back on the number of shows. I assume there were probably some health issues driving this, but Roller was always 100% cheerful and “on” when he went live. No show was complete without cries of “Fix your shit!” and “UNMUTE, noob!” from the audience, tales of dropped sticks (if you were there, you know what I’m talking about), and a detailed description of what was for supper.
Sadly, Roller has passed away, and while his shows had become downright infrequent, I feel comfortable in saying that no one who saw him is ever going to forget him. He was a natural at entertaining his friends and it was a pleasure to kick back for a couple or three hours and just let Roller take over the controls. He was widely loved, respected and admired; he will be missed.