I am not sure if losing a friend suddenly is more or less painful than when one goes over time. I lost a dear friend and arguably one of my first clients yesterday, when Jon Daughtry lost his short battle to cancer. I first met Jon when I was about 8 years old in Wichita, Kansas. Jon seemed like he had stepped right out of a James Bond movie. He had a martini glass in one hand and a beautiful woman on the other for most of his life. He taught me a lot more than just how to light a cigar or make Caesar salads. He taught me how to have fun. I had never met a person who had more fun in life than Jon.
As I grew up, went to college and graduated law school, Jon never forgot my birthday. He would send me fun presents like bull fighting posters from Tijuana or cigar cutters. A few times Jon would ask me to help him as a lawyer. But whether he was the plaintiff or defendant, he was always the smartest guy in the case. He was, as he would say, “the best lawyer in the country who never went to law school.”
Just last year, Jon helped me represent a boy who was injured at Gameworks on an amusement ride. He served as an expert witness. And in typical Daughtry style, he came up with about 25 things, I had never considered. He was brilliant, he was generous, he was fun and above all I loved him.
The world gave me a beautiful gift, by allowing me to say goodbye to him, a few hours before he passed away, at his home in Palm Springs. Even with only a few hours to live, and hardly breathing, and weighing probably less than 80 pounds, Jon H. Daughtry looked cool. His face was shaven, he had his hair slicked back and he was surrounded by his loved ones.
I am not sure if heaven exists, or hell for that matter. Nor am I sure whether Jon’s lifestyle would qualify him for either, but I humbly suggest that wherever Jon is now, the margaritas are flowing, and cigars are being passed around and people are dancing. Marilyn Monroe, you better watch out.
Jon I miss you already.