Cross posting from the Yahoo list. A few more memories of Mike.
OMG !!! Mike was a good soul… Talked with him many, many times on the phone, will really miss his sense of humor !!!
Sinserest Condolences to his family & friends.
When Mike was still posting regular in our yahoo woodgas group, I always admired, his joyful Coolness. He never lost his temper, he never got annoyed he was always ready to explain to newcomers, what for him must has been so obvious and boring, but he never showed the least bit of arrogance.
I call myself happy to having entered this list when he was still here and having learned from the experience of this genuine woodgas pioneer. He taught me one thing valuable. Woodgas is a simple thing and not the complicated hocus pocus some like to make out of it.
It kept me go looking for the most simple solutions and not let me distract or getting confused by woodgas intellectuals…
64 years old! Much too young to die. It must be a big grief and loss for the family. It is also a big loss for our woodgas community.
That old cliché’, “when they made Mike LaRosa, they threw away the mold” seems to apply. Only one of Mike, I think. What a great guy. And a genius, I believe. His builds and welds could be a little messy and might require frequent maintenance, but he was all about “Obtainium” - making do with what materials you could easily find around town. And in fact idea of using the castiron disk brake rotor as a cheap, widely-available solution for an Imbert hearth, complete with restriction – was an example of his genius. Behold: The LaRosafier! Many probably aren’t aware that Mike’s gasification efforts were featured in the excellent book, The Knowledge. How the author found Mike, I don’t know, but The LaRosafier would be totally appropriate for a viable build for running a vehicle on woodgas after a worldwide, cataclysmic event.
Back in 2010, I believe it was, I attended Jim Mason’s magical woodgas seminar in Berkeley - along with Ron Ohler and other woodgas notables. Mike was hesitant about traveling out to Berkeley. He was in a bad mood because he lost his pocketknife to TSA or something. Jim offered Mike a plane a plane ticket, and I told him I would bring a new pocketknife for him! So, he took the bait. Without communication about same, I’m sure both Jim and I wanted him present for both his knowledge and his spirit. The event was quite memorable.
Mike upset some folks every once in a while, and sometimes he would tell you more than you wanted to know about health issues or something. But Mike was the wildcard - the guy that might just come up with a totally off the wall solution that might just work. Mike made everything more interesting. I will regret that I never got to visit him and find out more about the giant galena deposit he lived on that functioned as a crystal antenna, time travel, and more. Rest easy, Mike!
"I hadn’t talked to Mike for quite a while but for some time we would talk at least weekly. I was down to his place 2 or 3 times (just 1.5 hours south) He had lots going on in his old trailer house shop, and his radio shed with the basement. The one time my Mrs was with me and we had lunch with him and Sue. Had some kick butt salsa they made up.
I was stunned to find out he passed. Like you said Martin sometimes he would give you too much info. I know he had some health stuff going on, but sometimes when he told me about some of self-doctoring he did I would have thought he might have lived forever He always told me about getting out and getting some vitamin D (getting out in the sun) and wanted to know how I was doing driving my Toyota on wood.
I still have the obituary open on my computer. Kinda still getting use to having to let go.
Definitely one of a kind. Rest easy man……till we meet again.