My dear friend and Mercury contributor Viva Las Vegas has written an obituary for our friend Sasha Clapper, who died on his motorcycle early Saturday morning. He will be greatly missed.
Sasha McCarthy Clapper
Sasha McCarthy Clapper died early Saturday, April 25th, 2009, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
Sasha was born on January 22nd, 1973, in Columbia, South Carolina and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended the North Carolina School of Math and Science and Reed College prior to dedicating his life to adventure. Sasha traveled widely, visiting nearly every continent and all the islands in between. He cross-country skied to the North Pole and rode a camel in the Sahara Desert in full motorcycle leathers. However he considered Portland his home, and had recently returned there after seven years in Alaska. Sasha was passionate about the environment and was currently pursuing an engineering degree in renewable energy at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He loved bicycles, motorcycles, windmills, fireworks, neck tattoos and rock’n’roll (especially ZZ Top). “His mental state was totally related to the working condition of his vehicles,” says girlfriend Sophia La Valley. Sasha was known to express righteous indignation whenever a bar—no matter how fancy—did not stock Old Crow bourbon; he idolized the humble potato—calling it the quintessential food, spoke endlessly of his two treasured daughters, and took darn good care of his friends. The heavily-tattooed vegetarian heartthrob was adored far and wide by both men and women. His big heart, goofy grin and maniacal chuckle will be desperately missed.
Sasha is survived by his parents, Jim and Debbie Clapper of Nashville, Tennessee; a brother, Evan Clapper of Moab, Utah; two daughters, Aria Watkins of Carolina Beach, North Carolina and Stella Speakman of York Beach, Maine; his girlfriend, Sophia La Valley of Portland; and several thousand close friends.
A private memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 29th, followed by an open reception and celebration of Sasha’s life from 5-8 p.m. at Plan B, 1305 S.E. 8th Avenue, Portland. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Community Cycling Center, 1700 N.E. Alberta St., Portland, 97211. Tax I.D.: # 931127186. Condolences may be sent to 3826 Brighton Road, Nashville, Tennessee, 27205.
Viva also interviewed Sasha for an "Employee of the Week" column in 2007. Revisit it here.