RIP Brandon Sutter


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Date: 19 January 2009
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One of my best friends from Graham Middle School in Mountain View, CA died in a tragic accident one year ago today.

Brandon died in a car accident while returning home from a camping trip near Big Sur, CA. I don’t have all the details, but I know he was sleeping in the back of his Ford Bronco while his friend drove them home. Apparently the driver had been drinking and something caused them to tumble off a several hundred foot cliff. I have no idea how badly Brandon was hurt, but unlike the driver, he did not survive the fall.

I know it’s cliche to say about a friend that has passed away, but Brandon was an amazing person. After our freshman year at Mountain View High, I moved to San Jose and only saw him a few more times before he died.

I’m just going to type out some memories I have of him…

Running at top speed from one corner of his roof to the other, where he would leap off and do some crazy flips or karate kicks before landing on his trampoline.

He made the funniest faces when we played dodge-ball and he was running at you with the ball in his hand.

He always had the coolest clothes and shoes.

We sat in his room for hours creating comic book characters and talking about comics and music.

He tore the shit out of the drums. I went with him to get his new sparkle kit and, along with Colleen, was the first to hear him play it…a lot.

One word: Q-Zar

Brandon telling his mom that the line “I want to fuck you like an animal” isn’t profane. And singing it over and over.

We found an enormous (like 8 inch long) banana slug behind his brother’s house. He tried to put it on me.

Halloween at Brandon’s house was awesome.

Prank calling random people from Brandon’s room with James and Deon. People actually believed that we were doing a condom survey.

Brandon slipped while trying to kick a balloon outside Maya’s party in 8th grade. He must have been 3 feet off the ground, horizontal, and landed flat on his back…it was hilarious.

We slept out on his trampoline a few times…much to the chagrin of his mom and their neighbors.

We poured rubber cement on a big machete, jammed it into a large target, and lit it on fire….not the smartest move. The house didn’t burn down, but we were paranoid about it for hours.

We spent an afternoon running around downtown San Jose, floated a big mac in a hotel swimming pool, had a daiquiri by the Fairmont pool (and roamed their service halls and banquet rooms), and shared a cigar by the lightrail station.

Brandon and I went to a psychic fair in Mountain View in 8th grade. It was awesome. We had readings and while I cannot remember exactly what she said, I do remember her taking a special interest in us and talking to us for like an hour about the soul and past lives and such.

We stood in the street in front of his house for hours playing catch with a Nerf football.

Seeing his band play at the Edge in Palo Alto is the reason I started playing guitar. He got my band, Upstart Crow, our first gig.

Brandon and I went to the job faire at Mt. View High our freshman year. We both got interviews at Hobee’s in Palo Alto. He called me after his interview and told me everything they talked about. When I went in that afternoon, I knew exactly what to expect. In fact, I kind of froze up near the end when the manager asked me if I had any questions for him…he had asked Brandon that same question…and I asked him the same thing Brandon did! We both got the job. I don’t think Brandon liked it too much because he didn’t stay long and they ended up naming a breakfast burrito after me. We actually worked two or three shifts together…we had too much fun.

If I think of anything else, I will surely add it. If you knew Brandon, please leave a message.

RIP BRANDON SUTTER (December 1, 1979 – January 19, 2008)

7 responses to RIP Brandon Sutter

  • I didn’t know Brandon ALL that well, but I remember 6th grade at Graham when he, Heather and I would go into the library at lunch and smash food between the pages of books and laugh and snicker til we got kicked out…

  • DrRJE says:

    Reminds me of 8th grade sex ed. They took like 2 or 3 days out of PE to teach us about sex and STDs n shit…by the end of the first day, Brandon got himself, James and me kicked out (for the whole thing) because we were all laughing at him talking about riding a wild beaver into the sunset…

  • joey sites says:

    wow you are saying a lot of the things i remember with brandon. I remember when we tought him to play baseball with us. he hated it after awhile.

    but listening to him rock out in the basement was awesome.

  • empty says:

    i knew “B” very very well.
    i miss him and i think about him all the time.

  • DrRJE says:

    I’d love to hear/read some memories you have!

  • Dale Dunlap says:

    I am Brandon’s mother and just found this blog. I have enjoyed, so much, reading about my beloved son, Brandon. I miss him so much, tears are in my eyes as I write this. I am so glad you all remember what a character he was.
    Of course as a teen he could drive me nuts.
    It has been such a long difficult year and half without him. His brother, Jason and sister, Colleen have been struggling with the loss of their brother also.
    what an amazing, person Brandon was! There is no one like him. He was so energetic, charismatic, and witty/funny! Our world is so altered without his presence. Each holiday is dreaded because it magnifies our loss knowing Brandon won’t be with the family.
    I have started a web site in his memory.Also I am finishing a video his dear friend Ian has been making with me. Soon it will be posted on the website. I have put the url of the web site. I would love to post any memories or thoughts you have about Brandon on the site. I want to keep his memory and spirit alive. Brandon was such an adventurer and had survived so many daredevil stunts, didn’t see this happening. He always seemed to know when to save himself in a fix.

    Ian and I will be organizing an annual Brandon Memorial hike at Hidden Villa. I will let you know the date. it will be this fall, september or october.
    keep the memories coming.
    Thank you,
    Dale

  • Dale Dunlap says:

    here is the url of the memorial website I have created in tribute to my son Brandon’s life. there is a very cool movie Ian and I made using footage of some of Brandon’s videos as well as interviews of family and friends, enjoy.

    http://www.brandonjeffreysutter.org/Welcome.html