Tuesday, October 22, 2013


This was not the blog I intended to write for today.  It’s the one
I had to write, much as I wish otherwise.

Monday was to have been a day of errands and writing.  I left the
house around 8 am, voted on the upcoming school board and levy, did
some grocery shopping, went to the library and the gas station.  I
mucked around doing some odds and ends and posting some stuff on my
Facebook page.  Then I got a message from my friend Scott Galloway:

I'm afraid I have some very bad news. I wanted to let you know that
Brian died in the middle of the night. It was very sudden. It looks
like it was a heart attack.

Brian is Brian Auler.  He and Scott were regular customers of the
garage sales I hold each summer, driving two hours from Columbus to
do so.  When they couldn’t make it to the sales during the normal
sales hours, I let them coming when they could.  I didn’t do this
for anyone else.  I did it because I really enjoyed seeing them and
talking with them.

The news of Brian’s death - he was younger than me, but that’s true
of virtually everyone who comes to my garage sales - hit me hard.
I asked Scott what I could do and he responded:

No, but thank you. I wanted to let you know how much he enjoyed
knowing you and talking with you and how much he LOVED going to
your garage sales. Thank you for all of those things that you have
already done.

That really me feel very good and very sad.

It’s not uncommon for customers to become friends in this business.
I couldn’t tell you exactly how old Brian was or his home address
or the name of the company where he worked, but I knew that he was
interested in all kinds of material and had an especially fondness
for the books and magazines published by TwoMorrows. 

Brian and Scott and I talked about all sorts of stuff whenever they
came to my garage sales.  Brian would call me on my cell phone from
time to time and we’d talk about all sorts of stuff.  Comics, his
family, my birth family, and stuff.  There aren’t too many people
I talk to on the phone.  I’m a solitary guy more often than not, my
mind filled with whatever projects I’m working on at any given time
and I don’t let too many people take me away from that.  Brian was
one of the few.

Brian was an accountant, as was a relative of mine who is currently
serving time in a federal penitentiary for stealing an incredibly
large sum of money from clients who trusted him.  Brian was one of
the very few people I could really talk to about that and who could
help me wrap my brain around that unthinkable situation.  I wish I
had known Brian as well as he knew me, though his advantage there
is probably because of my obsessive blogging.  That he enjoyed my
blog makes me a little happy in this time of sadness.

Brian was a fun guy to talk to.  When I’d write about new “finds”
for the garage sale, especially when he and Scott wouldn’t be able
to come to the next sale, he’d chide me about how I was killing him
with the notices.  When Sharknado, which I’d been talking up online
and at the garage sales prior to its first airing, turned out to be
an unexpected sensation, he phoned me to tell me I was clearly some
sort of powerful tastemaker. 

I couldn’t tell you the exact last times I saw or talked to Brian
because I never know they were going to be the last times.  I had
lunch with Scott and him during PulpFest.  They came to at least one
of the last garage sales I had this summer.  I probably talked to
him on the phone or exchanged e-mails with him.  I wish I had more
time with him.  He was a truly good guy.

Brian and Scott were the best of friends.  When I think how much I
will miss Brian, I cannot begin to conceive of how much more Scott
will miss him.  The world is never more cold and cruel than when it
takes those we love from us.  I’m at an age when this is no longer
an uncommon occurrence and it always hurts like a son of a bitch.
There’s not much I can do about that.

What I can do is remember that Brian Auler was a good man and that
I enjoyed the time I had with him.  It doesn’t seem like much, but
it’s all I’ve got.

I’m going to miss you, Brian.  My thoughts are with you and Scott
and everyone else who loved you.   

© 2013 Tony Isabella


  1. I'm sorry, Tony. My condolences to you, Scott and everyone who knew and liked Brian.

  2. Thanks, Tony, Brian was a friend of mine too. It makes things a little better when we all grieve together.


  3. This was beautifully written, Tony. Thanks for being straightforward and honest. Scott is my uncle, and both he and Brian have been around our family during holidays for many years. We're all really going to miss him.

  4. Thank you Tony for the lovely words about my brother Brian. You are right. He was a super person and the best brother a person could ask for. He will be greatly missed by his family, (he had 7 brothers and sisters) and his extended family, The Galloways.

  5. Thank you so much Tony, this is beautiful. Brian was my brother in law, and all the things you have said about him here is true. I am going to miss Brian he was loved by all. Thank you so much
    Anna Auler

  6. Thank you so much Tony, everything you said is true. Brian is my brother in law and he will be truly missed. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  7. That was beautifully written. I have had a very similar experience getting to know Brian and Scott. I work at a used bookstore and they both would come in fairly frequently. Talking to them both has always been a bright spot in any day. Brian was always grinning and making funny comments. Gabbing about comics and culture. I will miss Brian very much and I hope to continue to see Scott.

  8. Thank you so much for this wonderful post. Brian was my Uncle and he would always have something very interesting for me when I would visit. I love him and miss him terribly.

  9. Tony: I didn't know you until Scott mentioned your blog to me yesterday. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Brian was indeed a special kind and will surely be missed. Thoughts to his family and especially Scott.

  10. Brian was indeed a special guy. I do remember the last time I saw him, it was Friday October 18. He walked into my office singing me name and said "give me a hug" he noted how his day was going to be better simply because he received a hug from me. He always made me feel special! He will be missed by many. My prayers are with all he touched.