John R. Beardmore of Waukon, Iowa, was a friend of mine from time to time. He died sometime Sunday after he fell in his bathroom, fractured his skull on the toilet seat and bled to death on his couch. That’s what the death certificate will say. The real cause of death was his uncontrolled alcoholism as John was very drunk when he fell.
His life was the pursuit of the next big deal. He was smart. I met him with Adam Oreck, who designed the ultimate shoe lacing system and who died in a car wreck only to have his system appear worldwide soon afterward.
Beardmore enjoyed success, he scored often twenty years ago as he was smart, but the money slipped away. He was charming and had wonderful wives, but he was alone when he died. People say he was saying that he was on the verge of the big deal that would make everyone whole. That was last week; the demons won last Sunday. He was like Jay Gatsby, flamboyant, always one deal away from success and even had secret allies in Chicago. Like Gatsby “he believed in the green light, that orgiastic future that year by year recedes in front of us.” Like Gatsby, that future eluded John and now he is gone.
John tried to stop drinking, but never tried to get sober, and there is a huge difference. Get sober or lose, the booze wins every time.