Brian Love Killed in Car Wreck

Brian Love

Brian Love

I had a weird feeling when I saw someone’s Facebook post that a cab driver had been killed in Auburn early on Friday morning, July 5, 2013. I was not able to look immediately and follow up my instinct, but when my ex-wife Janice called me to tell me the news, I could not believe what she was saying. The cab driver killed by a driver who blew through the red light at Main Street on Auburn Way, was Brian Love.

The KING-5 News story is here. The Seattle Times story here.

Brian walked into SPLAB at 14 S Division in 1997 after hearing our public affairs programs on Sunday early morning radio in Seattle. Intrigued that such a show could come out of Auburn, being a former radio guy and having some time as he was recovering from a nasty auto accident in which an El Camino plowed into his car, he started as a volunteer almost immediately. He did voice overs for our radio show and cleaned up. He helped prepare our first big report to the IRS and digitized MANY records and CDs. He helped with SPLAB events, from the Visiting Poets Series to the Teen Slam, never said a bad word about anyone and always counseled, as the man in the news story above related, always counseled me to “Slow Down!”

Brian was a master story-teller and I remember one specific story he told at the Blue Moon in Auburn, when that venue had a monthly poetry night. It was a story about a cross-eyed prize bull in the Puyallup Fair. He stretched that thing out like a master, knowing how far he could go before delivering the punch line and there were paroxysms of laughter.

Meredith and I looked through what old SPLAB photos we have around here and no luck in finding one. He was that kind of guy, preferring to stay in the background. I went to Auburn tonight, to his hangout, the Rainbow Cafe bar and they had his hat and his drink at his usual spot.

Brian Love's Hat at the Rainbow Cafe Bar in Auburn, Washington

Brian Love’s Hat at the Rainbow Cafe Bar in Auburn, Washington

Elegy for Brian Love
90. Slow Down Tahoe Driver (For Brian Love)

About Splabman

SPLAB founder Paul Nelson wrote Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, German, 2008) as well as a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010). In 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others. Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, recent publications on and off-line include: Hambone, Pageboy, Menacing Hedge, Fieralingue, Rain Taxi, Solitary Plover, the Soul of the Earth anthology, Along the Rim: The Best of the Pacific Rim Review (Vol 2), Inactual, Raft magazine and Golden Handcuffs Review. He lives in Seattle, won the 2014 Robin Blaser Award from the Capilano Review and writes at least one American Sentence every day.
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15 Responses to Brian Love Killed in Car Wreck

  1. Brian was also an announcer for the Main Stage during the Auburn Days Festival. Connie Henke, the director of Auburn Days, has stated her wish to do some displays in the parade this year with his name, etc. We will do something at the Auburn Avenue Theatre as well. Someone should step forward who knew Brian and read some of his poetry both Saturday (before the films) and Sunday (during the poetry event).

    Sincerely,
    Robert M. Blevins
    (Co-chair, Adventures in Literature, Auburn Days)

  2. David says:

    Brian helped many people from not driving drunk.
    He was a fun loving man, never a bad thing to say just being happy.
    Thank you Brian.
    You will be missed

  3. Heather says:

    I’m very sorry to hear this news. Thank you for letting us know.

  4. We have a response to the request for readings of Brian’s poetry at Auburn Days. (Formerly ‘Good Old Days’) Natalie Petersen-Smith, aka ‘Diamond Girl’ has contacted me and agreed to appear on Sunday, August 11th 2013 at the Auburn Avenue Theatre to read some of Brian’s poetry and talk about her memories of him in general. Thank you, Natalie. You already have my contact info. Any questions about the Poetry event at the Auburn Ave for that day should be addressed to Pacific’s current Poet Laureate, Gerald McBreen, at mcbreenpost AT AOL Dot Com. He is the chairperson for the Poetry on Sunday. I only do the movies on Saturday. You can find out about those at the Auburn Days page at adventurebooksofseattle DOT COM. There is a downloadable PDF print-ready with all details.

  5. Nicholas Tidyman says:

    He had sage-ness about him that I was always drawn to, and admired, because he was equally so down to earth. Glad to have been his neighbor for 6 or so years in the late ninties and early 00′. He was a mentor in a way, he was always able help me make sense of what little common sense I had, and some how get a better perspective. A smile was always on my face after a bit with Brian.

    Wise old soul, a lot of talent, his voice I could have listened to him narrate the phone book. I will miss him and I’m better for knowing him.
    His spirit will be with us always in heart.

    NT

    h

  6. Karen Bruton says:

    I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments. My brother was everything they said and so much more. I’m just devastated. If you have some stories about Brian, please be sure and post them so everyone will know about the man my brother was.

  7. The Brian Love Memorial Fund has been established through Key Bank, Auburn Branch. Donations may be made at any Key Bank branch in Washington State. Funds will be used to contract a DUI sign from the state that reads: ‘Please Don’t Drink and Drive in Memory of Brian Love’. The sign will be placed on Main Street and Auburn Way, in Auburn. Any remaining funds will be donated to Brian’s fiancee, who is currently in a legal struggle with the King County Medical Examiner’s Office to have Brian’s body released for burial.

  8. Karen Bruton says:

    Brian’s body is no longer in limbo. We will have his body released shortly upon confirmation of our plans.

  9. Hi Karen,
    I’m glad you posted up about your brother, and I know it must have been hard to make the trip here that you did. We’re all going to try hard to honor his memory at Auburn Days in every way we can.

  10. Brian Love Remembered in American Sentences

    Two car accident on Auburn Way and Main caused by a red-light runner.

    After I hang up there’s a stone in my stomach, you said our friend died.

    Just after the news of your death I can’t remember much about you.

    After the body is carried away traffic resumes as before.

    Little boys playing car driver run into each other, yell: Red Light!

    A run amok drunk taken off the streets too late to save his victim.

    Drunk driver locked up, so many lives will never be the same again.

    Sitting behind jail house bars a drunk driver is singing the booze blues.

    I remember now that you’re gone I don’t remember your poetry.

    Love says a lot about Brian.
    Gerald A. McBreen proud to say I SPLABed with Love.

  11. Vehicular homicide, DUI, etc just numbers on a page, another public service announcement, another tragic TV news story. Alcohol was involved in the accident. Yawn. Change the channel.

    Until it comes to your door in a personal way.

  12. sherri says:

    Brian was a part of a lot of lives in a lot of ways. He never said a mean word about anyone. He always helped everyone. The man was an ICON in this world. He will be MISSED by all. We LOVE him …

  13. Michele H says:

    I had known Brian since the 70’s….and even then it was as if he was a much older person.
    There are really no words to explain or describe Brian’s kindness and concern for others…except it was….immense.
    We had long ago out grown and moved on from our “group” sitting around a corner table at Sambo’s (later Dennys) or VIP’s in Kent, drinking coffee and talking all night long. The Spaghetti Barn burned down and the people we cared about began to journey elsewhere, some leaving this earth far to early.
    And so it was with Brian. A part of so many people’s lives every day. I somehow thought he would always be here, or at least for another 40 years or so….
    Save a cup of coffee for John and me…..we’ll see you again, Brian.

  14. April Spike says:

    He is a good man and all of Auburn loved brother Love. The most I remember his farwell as See you, Later, bye! We will see him later and till then see you, later, bye.

  15. UPDATE: The perpetrator was eventually given the absolute maximum sentence for vehicular homicide allowed by Washington State law: 13 years and 4 months in prison, which he definitely deserved.

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