How Twitter Pioneer Clint Miller Changed Missoula, My Life #R.I.P.
I know angels have granted you access to view your #weloveclint tweets. If anyone deserved to be given a Twitter account in the sky then you are the one. So I know for a fact that this message will be delivered to you in real-time.
Last night something happened on my radio show that may never be explained...I am still beyond floored, very much perplexed and you had everything to do with it...
Readers, you may have to forgive me. This letter to one of Montana's first and very early Twitter adopters Clint Miller (@therealclint) is something that is coming from my spirit and not just my fingers...
Clint, last Friday I heard from our mutual freind and local artist Overtime that your health was on the decline. Your battle with Stage 3c testicular cancer was soon coming to an end. OT told me that he was going to e-mail me a tribute song for you and your family and that I should consider airing it on my radio program. Without hesitation I jumped at the chance and put the song in rotation on this evenings Homegrown Radio Show.
My friend, in what was the most unexpected moment in my entire radio career, I learned after the fact that you left us within the EXACT hour we aired this tribute for the first time.
Read that again..your song debuted on Zoo FM just moments before we learned of your passing, minutes before we even had a clue that tonight was going to be your last night with us.
I swear that we didn't know you were leaving us this soon. This was NOT a pre-calculated and well timed event on my clock, but it most certainly seemed to be on destiny's clock. What does this mean? Coincidence? Perhaps. But pardon me for looking to deeply into this moment, I just know for a fact that destiny doesn't play around with coincidence. Everything, and I mean everything happens for a reason.
I knew you well, in fact 3,148 followers on Twitter knew you very well. But see, our mutual passion for Twitter was just the start of this very unique relationship. A relationship that will now be much stronger in lieu of what just happened this evening.
You and I had met because we were the first, if not at least in the Top 50 people in the state of Montana who first adopted Twitter. We had actually met face to face many times (ironically for the first time at a 'Tweet Up' we organized together) but I kept up with you practically every minute because of your desire to over share with your followers day in and day out.
It was awesome. Funny, sarcastic, true wit. Your tweets entertained with every refresh of the browser. From your routine office grind, to your favorite songs on last.fm and Spotify, and yes, even the dreaded "what I had for lunch" tweets scrolled by at breakneck speed. The way we connected was so new and exciting to all of us. We felt like true pioneers! Didn't we? Montana's first ever digital pen pals! And we all loved you because you were always so very upbeat. Never a tweet had gone by where you weren't just radiating happiness and witty @ replies.
I am sending this letter to you because I am seeking answers tonight. You left me with the most shocking moment I have ever experienced and I can't just let this go by without inquiring. Somehow you are sending a message to me? Again, maybe I'm looking too far into this "coincidence" but dang it, why did you bring me and Overtime together like this? I mean, really! What are the odds of all of this happening? Here I am, blogging just last week about this new found direction both myself and Overtime are denouncing to the public and then all of a sudden we are bound together by an even stronger connection..through you? I know this may sound like something out of a Lifetime made-for-TV movie but the moments leading up to what I am saying now were absolutely real, and so help me there has got to be a reason for it. I'll continue to seek this answer, but now we all just need to take a moment to mourn the loss of a great person, good friend and an even better family man...
I am certain that there are many people in this town that knew you more than I did, many that knew the true flesh and bone Clint that I wish I had a chance to know more about, yet I and many others were so very fortunate to have a minute-by-minute dose of your amazing personality in a generous helping of your short and entertaining sentences each waking hour.
In fact, now that I mention it, Clint, THANK YOU!!
Thank you for the gift you left behind for all of us. This is one of these new and often eye-opening treasures revealed in our new social networking era that we now have the pleasure of benefiting from. Today, Missoula has a beautiful time capsule to look back upon to get a taste of who you really are and always were! For those who barely knew you, now with the miracles of modern technology we can reflect on your life by seeing your most recent three years as well as bare witness to how you brought a once loose knit bunch of computer geeks into a now hyper-local digital community with an even stronger bond, 140 characters or less at a time. Amazing.
Here is Overtime's tribute to his friend and co-worker, Clint Miller:
"Thanks For The Memories" featuring Dice
If you'd like to own a copy of the song and help benefit the Clint Miller Cancer Benefit then donate here and Overtime will email you the single.
I hope Missoula Twitter users can help arrange a Tweet Up very soon in his honor so we can all celebrate Clint's life in the way he would have intended. Please use #weloveclint to help organize this event and also use that hashtag to send words of encouragement to the family and friends he left behind.