Tragedy Strikes The Landis Household
My sincere condolences go out to the Landis and Witt families.
Terrible terrible news.
I can't help but think this is quickly becoming a tragedy of a most Shakespearean order.
I also can't help but refuse to accept dismissals of any connection between Witt's death and Landis' fate in the Tour. Witt and Amber's mother, Rose, has just opened a fine dining establishment in San Diego named Hawthorn's, an establishment whose success would undoubtedly be at least partly premised on Floyd's fame. Hawthorn's reportedly was decorated in Landis memorabilia. The doping scandal undoubtedly would have negatively affected any such restaurant traffic, and, further, Landis would be unable to be any sort of benefactor or investor in the restaurant after losing the Yellow Jersey, the cash prize, and the otherwise inevitable parade of commercial endorsements. Landis' fate in the Tour could have been a sign of an ultimate lost hope.
I also wonder aloud...my brother and I both independently worked in a number of restaurants during our younger years--both of us in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia, later he on the NJ coast and in Southern California, and I later in North Carolina. We have also had many friends who have worked or continue to work in the industry. One thing that was common in our experience was that the restaurant industry, no matter where we went, was always some strange portal to organized criminal enterprise. Drug distribution and money laundering in particular. Corrupt organizations where it wasn't so strange to see the occasional uniformed police officer just hanging out, making you wonder why in the heck that officer was just "hanging out" with "friends."
My brother and I both grew up in a neighborhood where the families of many of our best friends were alleged to be members of the mafia. We instead saw our friends, real, genuine people, but in hindsight we also didn't really think too much about things that now seem more than just sketchy. We both have found the restaurant industry in general to be a world infused with crime, dependent upon it, equivalent to it, where many owners compromised certain principles to take a risk to go into business, if the owners weren't somewhat creepy themselves. It might be an owner who's suddenly become a restaurant owner because of a gambling debt. Or it might be an owner who was punished by bosses and sent away to run a restaurant where he otherwise wouldn't want to go. Or an owner who like running things, all sorts of things.
Whenever I hear a restaurateur committed suicide I immediately wonder how easily the conclusion of suicide was reached. It's not a rational reaction but rather a *conditioned* one.
I'm not a religious man in the least but maybe I may just say a prayer for Floyd and Amber, a prayer without regard to guilt or innocence. At this point I don't care whether he did this or that. I just wonder about his well-being. Having survived the deaths of three of my closest friends in a 10 year span, deaths that derailed so many aspects of my life, being so unprepared in my youth to cope with the death of a close friend, I wish Floyd strength.