Posted: Nov 20, 2008 10:48 am
Remembering Brian Thicksten
Laughter was his trademark
By PAM FIRMIN - firstname.lastname@example.org
Underground bands, doing his own thing and a laugh all his own helped distinguish Brian S. Thicksten, 37, of Gulfport from the crowd.
Said his mother, Charlotte Martin of Gulfport: "He was a punker. He loved tattoos. He loved screen printing. He was an artist and a musician and he just walked to a different drummer.
"But he had the prettiest smile you could ever imagine.
On Monday morning, she learned he had been shot to death in New Orleans on Saturday night while out walking his dog, Birdie, an American bulldog she gave him. Two weeks ago, he had moved back to New Orleans from Gulfport. Word of his death spread across MySpace and was texted between friends. It was one of those friends who saw it on MySpace and called Martin with the sad news. When Martin contacted the coroner in New Orleans, she said his only reply was "affirmative." She brought Birdie home Tuesday from the Humane Society where police had taken her.
New Orleans media reported police have no suspects and no known motive for the shooting. The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Wednesday he was shot near an inoperable crime camera on Chippewa Street in the Irish Channel. Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but friends in both cities are planning benefits to help Brian's family with funeral expenses. Many will gather for a vigil on Saturday night at the same time and at the same location where he was murdered.
Martin said Brian loved New Orleans and might stay there for years, then come back home for a while.
"He's always been a nomad, always loved to travel," Martin said. "He had a love for family and friends. He kept his friends from diapers on up. A friend in a band with him in New Orleans is a woodworker and is going to make the urn (for his ashes).
"This boy was the number one most die-hard Saints fan you could ever imagine," she added, "and often sat in the press box at the Superdome.
One of the memorable aspects of Brian, said his friend Lee O'Boyle of Gulfport, "is his goals and his dreams, his aspirations, what he wanted to be and become and how he managed to do that on a consistent basis. Whether you loved him or hated him, you still had to respect his passion for keeping on doing what he wanted to.
Carl Feldmeyer of Gulfport said: "He's been a staple in the underground music scene in Southern Mississippi and New Orleans for over a decade. His bands have included The Children's Arsenal Choir, The Minions, Les Turdz and his latest project was called the Nasty Habits. He's got friends not only nationwide but worldwide.
"Everybody will miss his laughter because his laugh was so distinct and so memorable. It sounded like he hadn't a care in the world.
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