Who was Hooboy?

It can be unsettling to wake up one morning and realize that you've been working on a website for just a bit over ten years; it’s even more unsettling to realize that the driving force for that website has been gone almost five years.

Some people seem to want to dwell on who he was before the Website was created. They fail to understand that Hooboy was just another brilliant character that a gifted entertainer provided to the world. The man behind that character was a very private man, and his family wants us to respect that privacy.

My relationship with Hooboy started in late 1999 when I discovered the web site and was immediately intrigued by the resource that he was providing to a unique portion of the Gay community. I started out as a rabid reader and in short order became a contributor to the site.

The site generated a lot of interest in the first few months of operation, and the site soon grew to the point where it exceeded the bandwidth allocation that Hooboy had purchased. When he started receiving bills for several thousands of dollars, He mentioned on the site, that he was likely to shut down the web site because of the cost. That's when I contacted him and indicated that I was willing to help him with the site.

By March of 2000, Hooboy was up on one of our borrowed computers, and we rapidly found that as a team, we “Clicked”.

The first things that I learned was that life around Hooboy was always a Roller-Coaster ride, and it really didn’t matter if he was in the same room with you, or half way around the world. He’d only spend a few hours a night sleeping and the rest of the day talking to anybody and everybody.

He was always working on a new idea, refining old ideas with anybody that he would come across, and in general simply living his life with gusto. When he was able to, he gave up his day job, and started gallivanting around the world and in the process enthralling all us with his misadventures.

It was a standing joke that when he’d call (which was often), I’d start the conversation with: “…And where are you today” and he’d fill me in with the details. You couldn’t pin him down for any length of time, and he enjoyed a wanderlust that others can only dream about.

The second question was almost always: “…And what did you lose this time?” Cell phones, Computers, Passports just to name a few; it always seemed like he’d lose something whenever he’d move to a new location. According to him, the State Department finally gave up, and would only issue him a passport good for a year.

The most amazing thing is that even at the worst of times he would somehow keep the stream of reviews flowing into the web site. One time he literally snuck into a hotel’s business center, and started emailing me reviews to put up on the site while we were frantically getting yet another one of his portables reloaded and back on the air. He was the ultimate techno-klutz; it seems like every week he would inadvertently break yet another piece of software or hardware.

But being the gentle person that he was; he’d always wait patiently until it was time for me to wake up. This is a guy that knew my working/sleeping/eating habits better than I did, and he’d always call with that hang-dog tone in his voice and off we’d go solving yet another techno mystery that he created.

I could write a lot more; but a mutual friend of said it with much more elegance:

“I knew HooBoy well and considered him a good friend. He was loved by many, and reviled by others. It seems nobody had a neutral opinion of him (which is a sure sign he was doing it right!).

He was a pioneer when people were still trying to figure out what this "World Wide Web" thingie could be used for. Today, there are many sites featuring male escorts and offering reviews of their services. HooBoy pioneered the genre, and remained the best and most trusted to the end.

Through the years, Hooboy enabled many things. One escort commented that by shining a light on the profession, highlighting both the good and the bad, escorts and clients alike were allowed to become human. Clients learned how to be better clients, and escorts learned how to be better escorts."

With that I'll leave you with a few of the many tributes that we received when we lost Hooboy.

Regards, Daddy

From: ValleyDwellerNorth

In my communications with Hooboy I found him to be a loving, caring man with a heart of gold. Because of this site I have grown as a person (academically, socially and politically) and I have met some wonderful people through this site that I now call friends. This site's forums are a true example of what an e-community should be where people learn from one another and enjoy mutual fellowship.

My thoughts and prayers goes to his friends and family.

To realize the value of one year:
Ask a student who has failed a final exam.
To realize the value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of one minute:
Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of one second:
Ask a person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special.

From: BuckyXTC

Now and then, in our lifetimes, the rare individual comes along who selflessly pursues a vision that results in changing many other lives for the better. Hooboy was one of those rare gems. His work has richly blessed my life, and I mourn his passing.

For his closest family and friends, I hope you can take some solace in knowing that here was a man who made a difference because he lived his life with vision and passion and ultimately knew what was truly important.......other people.

A quote from Milton Mayeroff succinctly sums up my experience of Hooboy:

"In the sense in which a man can be said to be at home in the world,
he is at home not through dominating, or explaining, or appreciating,
but through caring and being cared for."

Hooboy leaves behind that grand legacy of caring, of having made a difference. While I'm feeling great sadness at his passing, I'm also experiencing a profound sense of gratitude for his gift of caring for me and others. We're all destined to move from mortal existence to whatever lies ahead, if anything does, so what we leave behind matters. Hooboy left a lot of good things to cherish and remember, and there will be healing in the remembrance.

God bless you, Hooboy.

From: Jackhammer91406

Many others posting here have said things better than I will be able, but I needed to express my sadness and condolences to his family and friends, to express my gratitude to him for this site and the impact it had on me. Most know that through this site exclusively, my life has been opened up to so many new friends and possibilities. My life is changed completely. For me, as others have said (and better), it was about contact with other like minded people.

In many ways, Hooboy introduced me to most of my closest friends, not only by providing this site, but more specifically, by giving me a place to find my identity and celebrate it.

I have lost the greatest friend I never met.

Thanks for everything Hooboy.

From: Joel304

Hooboy was the most giving, loving and witty person I can think of. This, coming from someone that met this man in person once, and spoke via email on occasion. Best wishes to family and friends. We truly have lost a man of character and charm. RIP.

From: Tampa Yankee

Hooboy was unusual man of a sensitive and shy nature and of good character with human flaws. I met Hooboy twice: once in Montreal a couple of years ago and then last year in NY. Two short encounters of 20-30 minutes each, one at a club and the other at a party. Prior to those face-to-face encounters my first personal introduction was a four hour phone call. I called at his request to discuss an issue related to a small financial contribution to his site. It took about ten minutes, if that. Then he was off to other subjects and before I knew it four hours had elapsed. He had a ball shooting the bull as did I.

Over the years, particularly early on, we exchanged emails occasionally mostly relating to my contributions to the site.

We had our ups and downs after I took him to task online a few years back. I learned how very sensitive a person he really was. We managed to re-establish cordial relations about a year later at that first meeting in Montreal and maintained them on a low level through our second meeting. So it was with real surprise on my part that after my posting to a thread about poor cell phone service and Canada service that Hooboy offered to bring me an unlocked cell phone from Hong Kong. He was about to leave HK in the next day or so and with all the last minute things he had to attend to I know he went out of his way to find me the phone he wanted me to have. His only regret was that he liked the phone he got for me better than his own. I offered to exchange but he would have none of that. That episode left a lasting impression on me.

I can't claim that I knew him well but I feel that I knew him well enough from our interactions over the years and from his online contributions for me to sense that he was a special individual, caring and charitable of heart, and that this web site was truly a labor of love for him. He touched my life with tangible benefit as only a few have. He provided an environment that gave me knowledge, entertainment, thoughtful discussion, a microcosm of interesting personalities and acquaintances, and some very good personal friends that I would never have known otherwise. For that I am in his debt.

My deepest sympathy to his loved ones, friends, colleagues and all who mourn his passing.

From: Ncm2169

Sad news indeed.

Hooboy was a technological klutz who nonetheless harnessed the power of the internet and untold numbers of people worldwide have and will have had their lives positively affected for years to come as a result.

That's a mighty awesome legacy!

From: Boston Guy

Hooboy was a visionary, a man with an idea who, in the course of pursuing his idea, just happened to make a huge impact in the lives of countless guys literally around the world. He brought energy, humor, dedication and love to his work, and it showed.

I doubt very much that he really understood how much he has helped so very many people. I think that maybe most people didn't quite realize the impact that this one man had until today, the first day he isn't with us anymore. In fact, I think maybe many people didn't realize quite the impact he had on their own lives until today, when they suddenly, unbelievably, discovered he was gone and found a hard lump in their stomachs and more than one tear in their eyes.

Some men, if they're lucky, touch a few lives; Hooboy touched many. I'm very glad he was here with us for a while and offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. He'll be missed, by many of us.

From: KY_TOP

There are times in life when we want to say something of meaning, but the shock of the moment lives us almost speechless. This is one of those times for me. Hooboy has had a tremendous impact upon many things in my life these last few years. Mainly by creating an avenue for me to meet and communicate with some of the best people I have ever had the pleasure to meet in my life. As I am filled with sadness I must remind myself of the joy he seemed to have in his travels, those he came in contact with, and the pleasure he had in living life as he wanted. Next week a group of friends shall gather together in Montreal. These men met each other and became friends because of the Avenue Hooboy created. I am one of those friends and I shall be honored to raise a glass to toast and celebrate the life of a man that helped create our friendship.

Hooboy, May you Rest in Peace...from some guy in KY.

From: Kriselix

My deepest condolences to family and friends of a, clearly, remarkable man, who has changed and touched the lives of many around the world. He will be missed. I wrote this poem to let us remember that he is all around us...

Bright as the sun
And cool like the wind on my skin
A touch of the earth
The sounds that are heard,
I feel you my friend.
You're everywhere
In the sky in the air
In the green of the trees
I fall to our knees,
It ends so that life can begin
Though we often ask ourselves, "why?"
We hold to our faith in the light
We believe in the things we can't see
And we know where your spirit will be....
We look at the moon
At the splendid design of the stars
The material of earth
Like the giving of birth
It's part of us all
Revisit the past
To remember the warmth in his smile
Daddy's sun kissed boy
Mother's pride and joy
You live in our hearts
Though we often ask ourselves, "why?"
We hold to our faith in the light
We believe in the things we can't see
And we know where your spirit will be....
Home....Now that you are gone
Love will carry on
With new hope in our lives
We will reunite
One day all will be new
We'll take a stand with you
We'll look into your eyes
As you help to lead us through

From: Tedbear

Hooboy indirectly introduced me to several people I now consider friends. One man has touched and improved many lives.

From: Noviceny

This man has given me something that no one has ever given me before: He has given me a voice. I did not know how important it was for me to express myself. I thought I could just go through life, helping others while I hid myself. This man gave me a community, where I could hear other voices and in return, use my own voice.

Family and friends, you have helped make Hooboy who he is and who he was, so I would like to thank you and thank him. Please know that he helped me, and I have always been the one to help others. Any good that I do, from this point on, will be partly due to him. By giving me a place to speak and to listen, he has done an absolute good.

Thank You.

Let nothing disturb you; let nothing frighten you;
God alone is timeless and changeless
and nothing can withstand His love ;
not time, not death, not pain...
nothing can withstand His love.
~Saint Teresa of Avila~

From: PacNW

It must seem odd, reading comments from a lot of people you've never known, about someone many of us never met except through a computer, but who to you was part of your lives for years past. At that distance, without an obvious connection between us and you, our condolences may come off sounding hollow. Just know that Hooboy is that connection, and that the thoughts and expressions you are reading are sincere and reflect just a bare fraction of the community that is mourning his loss. He affected countless people for the better ... that is an enviable legacy.

Thank you for sharing him with us.

From: OneFinger

July 23, 2001 is a day I'll always remember because that is when I met Hooboy in cyberspace.

It was a time when I was going through some personal challenges. Hooboy's message center provided an outlet and a place for me to "chat" with others and develop on-line friendships.

A significant event that affected me was 9/11. I'll really appreciated Hooboy setting up a specific forum for people to process this tragedy. Although 9/11 was being discussed on a plethora of various web sites, it was Hooboy's message center where I felt most comfortable sharing my feelings and fears.

Visiting Hooboy's message center has been a daily ritual for me. I'm so glad I've saved his e-mails and messages to me over the past months. It's something I'll always have to remember a great man.

I'm not sure he really knew the hundreds of people his life has affected. As others have said, he was the best friend I never met face-to-face.

From: Marc Anthony

He was a personal friend to me... one whose company and internet interaction I cherished greatly.

I do not know how much better I made his life, but I know that he made mine much better. And I know that mine is NOT a unique situation. He improved the lives of so many people... both those whom he knew, and an innumerable population that he didn't know.

There can be no greater accomplishment. Leaving the world a better place because we lived is what we all strive to do.

From: Flguy

Thank you Hooboy for finally, after almost 50 years, enabling me to come to terms with my real self. You gave me courage, understanding and knowledge through your site to explore my new world. A world I waited a lifetime to know. While we only communicated a couple of times by email, you were a person I would loved to have met. Your caring, compassion, and concern for others always seemed to be at the forefront of your life. Your sense of humor, as well as your cynicism always made me smile. But most of all you seemed to be a "Giver”, a person always there for your friends and always there for those you didn't even know. Your love of life and travel will forever be a source of pleasurable remembrance for me. Finally Hooboy, thank you for ALL the wonderful people I have met and come to know, only because of you has this happened and enriched my life immensely.

My prayers are with you and your family, both biological and cyber, may peace truly be with you. Thanks You

From: Tylom

I will miss his sense of humor, honest and honorable outlook, and most of all his bravery. Where ever he is now, I hope they are thankful for the wonderful gift they have received. Because he was a gift both loved and painful in it's giving. I believe he will find as much joy as he is richly is owed. I know he gave more joy than anyone can be expected to.

Thank you Hooboy.

"I open my eyes and see everything
I closed my eyes and saw nothing
Today I choose to close my eyes."

From: Jim Beaux

Whenever I think of Hooboy I recall his tenacity. He fought against many obstacles to keep his dream alive. The best thing about dreams is that they can continue even when death interrupts.

From: BigK

My sad thoughts of Hooboy's passing are brightened at the thought of him lounging on a cloud in the great beyond with the Internet connection to beat all internet connections.

My thoughts also are full of sympathy for his family and close friends.

Rest in peaceful cyberspace my friend.

From: Houston Bonfires

My heart is filled . . . with sadness, with gratitude, with respect, with remembrance, with love

Someday when we have conquered the waves,
the winds, the tides and gravity
we shall harness for God the energy of love
and for the second time in the history of the world;
Man will have discovered fire.

Thank you Hooboy for showing me a little glimpse of fire.

From: Anton

Quand le vent est ton oreiller, et les nuages tes couvercles ...
(When the wind is your pillow and the clouds your blankets ...)

Some say that we all have a task on this globe, and that it's time to go, by the time we fulfilled our task. If that's true, then you fulfilled yours. I must say that you did it in an amazing way, and I am grateful for what you did and the way you did it.

I guess you can now look down at us from above, and see how we are trying to fulfill ours; maybe you even know which task each of us has. It must be fun to see us fool around; I wish I could have a glimpse.

You may be sorry that you're no longer able to enjoy the things you liked so much down here, but there must be other things up there that will make up for it.

I always say that when we die, we leave behind all the fortune and possessions we made down here, but what we take with us are the friendships we made while here.

You have something to look forward to.

Everything is said and done now, no more plans to make, no more planes to catch.

True angels leave early.

My very warmest, for always, Anton

From: Charlie

E.M. Forster said that the essential element for a meaningful life was to "connect." Hooboy not only did that with us, he enabled and encouraged us to connect with one another. Out of ghosts in cyberspace, he created a genuine community of human beings. When I first came to his website, seeking only information and entertainment, I never imagined that it would eventually provide me with two of my closest flesh and blood friends as well as many other personalities who have become a part of my world. Many of us are better off because of his unexpected trajectory through our lives. He really did make a difference.

From: Happyguy2

I wish to express to all of you my profound sympathy on the loss of a truly extraordinary man.
I corresponded with him for the first time, just after 9/11, and he was deeply affected, as we all were. I sent him a cartoon which he posted on this site for the two following days. However, in the limited correspondence we had over the years, I dealt with a man who treated me as a friend, a privilege I had not earned, it seemed to me. He showed uncommon common sense, kindness and generosity in all his writings.

But, what I am most grateful for, was what he created through this Message Center. Each of us came here alone, often as persons who are alone in their own worlds as well. But, once we joined the center, we were never alone again. I have come to know all those who belong to this community. I normally did not know them personally. But I meet them and come to know the persons they reveal every morning and every evening when I logon. And they are as much a part of my world as my family and my co-workers.

Hooboy and his dear friends have made this possible. But it is Hooboy that was its heart and soul. Never having met him in person, I will miss him each time I logon. But I will also thank providence for his contributions to our lives. And thank you for what you made him!

Words can mean so little at a time such as this. Nonetheless, I leave you with these words, taken from an ancient prayer that Shakespeare quoted in Hamlet:

"may angels sing thee to thy rest"....

From: Ryan

What can I say about Hooboy? Well, the first thing that comes to mind is he sure did love sunflower seeds. He used to eat bag after bag of those things. So many times I remember him sitting at the computer with a glass of white wine and a bag of sunflower seeds. I am going to miss him a lot. He gave me some many wonderful memories. He was a wonderful person and a great friend. MUCH LOVE.

From: Richard

There's an old song I remember from my high school days that goes something along the lines of "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" When I heard the news that Hooboy had died, the truth of that lyric, however corny, hit home for me. It's when I realized that I took the work Hooboy did for granted. I just assumed that he would always be there, like the newspaper outside my door each morning. I was grateful for the site, impressed at the consistency of his work and imagined the team of people he had working with him to produce his valued service. Yet, I am sorry and a little ashamed I never took a moment to post here that I was a better informed, happier person for his efforts. I checked and I'm a 'charter' member who first posted a review in January 2000. Its five years too late, but thank you, Hooboy, for putting up with the huge bunch of mixed nuts who were all your beneficiaries. I am also going to try to commit to recognizing and expressing my appreciation to others who are a positive influence on my life. Perhaps that's a fitting tribute to the man who did a lot for so many but was thanked not nearly enough.

From: Big Daddy

I can only add how sad I was to hear that Hooboy has left the building. I found this site in the first two weeks of its existence, and all I can say is that it has profoundly changed my life. I have made so many new friends and experienced so much more in life because of the people on this site. Hooboy allowed me to expand my horizons and to venture out. Without Hooboy, I would have never ever considered going to Brazil . Without Hooboy, I would not have met my soul mate. I doubt he realized how greatly he so positively impacted so many lives. Thank you Hooboy. Thank you. You will be missed.

From: Oliver

I never met him. I never spoke to him. But he changed my life - all for the better - through the opportunity to know myself, to meet amazing people, to make new friends with whom I feel comfortable and feel truly free to discuss topics I never could before, to express myself in an open forum, and to begin to learn about a new way of life. I shall ever be grateful.

From: Justice

I never had the pleasure of meeting Hooboy, but he and I corresponded via e-mail from time to time. My favorite e-mail exchange started when my username stopped working for some reason. He reset my account and selected a temporary password, which, he said, was how he thought of me. It was uncanny, I'm not the most active member here, but he was right on the money. The password that he selected fit my like a glove. Good bye, Hooboy. Thanks for Everything. My thoughts and prayers go out to friends and family.

These two poems have been running through my head since I first heard that he had left us.


"Perhaps they are not the stars,
but rather openings in Heaven
where the love of our lost ones
pours through and shines down upon us
to let us know they are happy.?

--Eskimo Legend

"I wanted a perfect ending...
Now, I've learned the hard way that some poems
don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear
beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing,
having to change, taking the moment and
making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.
Delicious ambiguity."

--Gilda Radner, 1946-1989

Rest in peace,

From: Trixie

Oh Hooboy,
Thank you so much for the gift you presented us. Unwittingly or not, you gave the World a new community, and by doing so gave the gift of liberation (of sorts) to people like myself who've spent so much of our lives hidden away, and without a voice. It's amazing how your simple presence on the 'net became so integral to my life. May your legacy continue, in the good, capable hands of friends in which you trusted your work to begin with, and hopefully far, far beyond. Laughter, Passion, Fraternity, Family.

From: Ethan

Like many others, I remember fondly the site's ups & downs. I hope he has as much fun on this, his last journey, as he did on Earth. I extend my deepest sympathies to his loved ones. I hope they are able to take some small comfort from the knowledge that he touched so many lives.

Hamakon y'nahaim etkhem b'tokh sh'ar availai tziyon vi-yerushalayim.
May the Lord comfort you with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

From: Mike Clark

This was quite a shock. While I never got to know him personally, all my online dealings with him were pleasant and productive. I'd always hoped I'd have the chance to meet him some day. My sincerest condolences to his friends and family and my hope that they can comfort themselves with this: He really did change people's lives and that is a rare and beautiful legacy to leave behind.

From: Steve Roberts

It is with great sense of loss that I add to the resounding expressions of condolences already posted to all of Hooboy's family & friends.

I was never fortunate enough to have met him in person, but my limited direct communications with him always reflected the talent, wisdom and class that seems to have typified his life, his work and what he had created. More importantly, from the overwhelming outpouring of love, respect and affection I've been reading over the last few days, the impact he apparently had on so many lives is incredibly profound and is a true and marvelous testament to the man.

His enduring legacy will be that because of his vision, perseverance and abilities there exists the standard by which others should be judged -both personally and professionally. Thank you Hooboy for setting the bar so high!

In the Jewish religion when one learns of someone's passing, the Hebrew phrase: "Barukh Dayan Ha'Emet" ("Praised is the Judge of Truth") is used to express condolences and the hope that on the departed's Day of Judgment he will be judged kindly. Let it be so for Hooboy.

And let him rest in peace. Amen.

From: Ethan

I am saddened and speechless over this sudden tragedy. But find comfort in this old Hawaiian proverb,

"Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings, where our
loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."

My condolences to all those he loved and loved him in return.

From: LovesYng

I'm still saddened & speechless over the lost of Hooboy.

Hooboy your legacy will live forever for people that knew you and loved you. Thank you so much for giving us this new community in this world; you will never know how much you touched so many of us. You help me in so many ways to expand my horizons, without you Hooboy I would have never venture out in this world like I did.

My sincerest condolences to Hooboy's family on your lost, he will be missed by all.

God Bless you Hooboy.

From: Regina

My heart is breaking. Thank you God for the gift of Hooboy, and thank you for blessing us with his light. I can think of nothing more to say; he will be sorely missed.

From: VaHawk

I apologize for the lateness of this response, as I just got home tonight and did not have access to this site while away. I'm in total shock at this news, and apologize in advance if my thoughts are rambling.
First off, my sincere condolences and best wishes to his family and friends. I offer my prayers that the acute pain of his loss will subside with time, with the full realization that your cherished memories of him will never fade away, during the coming days, months and years.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Hooboy in person, but from his postings on this site and from input from those I have met, who did know him personally, I can honestly state that he is the person on this site that I would have liked to have met the most!

I so loved his sense of humor, as it was off the beaten track, at least in my humble opinion, and sometimes misunderstood, and that is what made it so special.

I know how fond I was of Hooboy, just as an anonymous poster to this site's message center. I can only extrapolate that into how much those who knew him personally loved him, and how devastating a loss they must be feeling.
I don't know anything about Hooboy or his family (except that he loved and dearly missed his pre-deceased sister, and that was beautifully stated often), but whoever he was in his private life, he made a huge positive impact on this planet that we all call home.

Can anyone remember anything negative Hooboy ever said about anyone? I can't, even when he was robbed by "friends"! It's that positive attitude that made him SO special!

To Hooboy's family, I extend a sincerely felt thank you, for giving the world such a wonderful, loving, kind, understanding, humorous person, who brought so much joy, pleasure and tolerance to us all.

The world is a little dimmer for all of us with Hooboy’s absence, but the Heavens are so much brighter with the presence of his shining star!

From: Jeff

Hooboy was a wonderful man and we thank him.

From: Daniel

I have never met Hooboy and I didn’t either exchanged personal emails with him. However, this has been one of my favorite web sites since late 1999 and I really enjoyed his postings.

To all of his friends, to his family and to all of the members of this community my sympathy for this very sad loss.

And especially to Hooboy: thank you for creating this wonderful site and making us wiser to choose our companies.