"My thought for today rests with a young man who I once knew and who died in a tragic traffic accident while travelling around Europe on July 21st, 2008. He was aged 25 years at the time of his death, yet had he lived to the grand old age of a hundred, he would, I strongly suspect always have remained young at heart and wild in spirit. He was born in California named John Jacob Burns, lived much of his life known as 'J.J' and died under the name of Brock which he changed to at the age of 21 years.
At his death, Brock left a father called John, a step-father called Craig, a mom called Cindy, his older brother Randal and two younger siblings, Craig and Kelsey to mourn his loss.
Two famous people who were also born on his birthday, the 3rd April, could have literally endowed Brock with his most prominent characteristics which they shared with him and which he displayed from childhood. First there was Eddie Murphy and his infectious smile which was a constant feature of Brock's face, and then there was Marlon Brando who shared his wildness along with a streak of lifelong rebellion, dashing good looks and sheer bravado; especially with the ladies.
His mother Cindy always saw his smile as being somewhat 'impish' whereas others may have sometimes viewed it as being 'devilish'; particularly when he was enjoying a secret joke at someone else's expense or pursuing the fairer sex.
I met Brock and his travelling companion Blake around 2005/6 when they were backpacking across Europe. My son William, who had met the couple on his backpacking travels around Australia and America had told them if they ever made it to England to look us up. For around three months we daily fed the travelling duo at tea time and then spent an hour watching Noel Edmonds' television programme 'Deal or No Deal' in which Brock and Blake loved the element of 'chance.' They liked the notion of either finishing up rich or broke. 'So long as one 'went for it,' whatever the outcome, better to have tried and lost out than to have regretted never doing it' appeared to be their philosophy.
If you can hear this, I am so glad that your mom Cindy asked me to say a few words about you on the anniversary of your death today Brock. I am especially privileged to have shared a small part of your life and to have had you and Blake as a part of my family for such a short time. RIP Brock. God Bless you and your family in America from all the Forde family in West Yorkshire, England. xx" William Forde: July 21st, 2014.