The Man Whi Changed My Life

November 26, 2013
Before you read Auggie the Clown, you need to put yourself in the place of a man who passed away on April 22, 2013. You as the reader need to imagine you are a clown, you love playing hockey, coaching hockey, and watching U of M Gopher hockey. You graduated from Stillwater High School in 1971, and graduated from Clown College in 1995. Your name is Daniel Magnuson, but you go by Auggie. You passed away from a terrible disease called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, at the age fifty-nine. Auggie was a man who helped me with my of my life battles.


I miss you so much. You have made a huge impact on my life. I will never forget all of the wonderful times I have spent with you at the Polk County Fair and at Wanderoos.

Auggie it’s crazy to think that you were my dad’s work foreman. Never would my dad have thought you would make a huge impact on his life or on my own. My dad always makes jokes about how you would yell and get angry but it was never for long. He always said that you made work fun. Two years went past of you being my dad’s boss but then you were diagnosed with ALS.

It’s crazy to think that you have been gone for 6 months. It seems like it was just yesterday you were walking around with your big camera taking pictures. I remember the time you took one of me and gave it back to me, and it was a picture of a donkey. Not a day goes by that you are not on my mind.

I have made many promises to you that I am planning to keep. You told me the stories about you drinking. I promised you that I would never drink underage. You would tell me stories about your ex-wife and how much you still loved her; the only reason why your marriage didn’t work was because you were an alcoholic. Although you did remarry to a wonderful lady, who helped you chance into a better person, you always seemed to wish that you would have never made the mistakes to begin with. My favorite thing about her was she was a night owl just like you. You gave me many tips for my future and my life. Everyone should have a person like you in their life. You have taught me many lessons.

You would always make me laugh and smile. My favorite thing you have ever said to anyone was, “I like your wheels,” to this kid who was in a wheel chair. That was beautiful to see the look on that kids face. You asked me after that if when you were in a wheel chair if I would take care of you. I would do anything for you Auggie. You always cared about everyone else’s happiness before your own. Auggie you’re an amazing man, I don’t think you realize that.

One thing you and I always joke about was your wife, and how she was too embarrassed to be seen with you in public when you were in your clown consume. That’s why once you had to be in a wheel chair you asked me if I would push you around. I gladly said, yes. Even though you are dressed up as a clown and look pretty silly, I loved watching you make people happy.

You took me on my very first date at the Polk County Fair we went and got slushes. That was very good! You said before, “I gotta go ask your parents form permission.” It was so funny. I got a grape slushy, and you got a wild berry. All four days of the Fair I would hang out with you and watch you put smiles on people faces. What you cared about most of all was making people happy. I admire you very much.

My favorite trick that you would do is when you would pull a bunch of tied up bandanas out of your mouth. You would say, “A true musician doesn’t reveal his tricks.” Oh boy, were you good at not telling me how you did some of them. The only ones you wouldn’t show me were the ones that truly impressed me. You would tell me if I wanted to know that I would have to go to Clown College. One of your friends at your funeral said to me, “Maybe you should go to Clown College that is what Auggie would want.” This phrase has come into my head so many times, is that what you want?

When I was showing horse at the Polk County Fair you would always come watch me. You always got a kick out of rescues race. If you forgot what that is it’s when I would run down on my horse and pick someone up, than I run back with the person on the back of my horse. That someone I always wanted it to be you. We always joked and said the doctors would never find out. I remember when you walked up to my horse once and she was scared of you because you were in your clown costume. I have never been scared of clowns because the only clown I knew was a wonderful man.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis also known as Lou Gehrig's disease is something that has challenged you for so long. You never gave up, you always told me to never give up no matter what. ALS frustrates me so much, it’s unreal. You made me appreciate every second. Every phone call I had with you towards that end I was always so angry. Auggie you told me everything was okay, that everything happened for a reason; to this day I have not found a reason for you to leave. It still makes me so angry. I remember at the fair last years you couldn’t ever squeeze my hand because you were so weak. It hurts a lot knowing you’re gone. You’re the most inspiring man in the world. Everything bad happens to the best people. Auggie you died way too young.

I found out that you had a week to live before they took you off life support. That was one of the hardest things for me to accept. You taught me how to accept the things that I cannot change, no matter how hard I wished for you to be okay it would never work. I got a call from my mom on my way home from school, you only had a week. I cried many hours; like you said sometimes no matter how hard you try you just have to cry. After you cry for a while you honestly you feel better. When I got the call from my mom I knew something was wrong by her voice.

Going to your funeral was extremely hard, seeing you without make-up on was so unbelievably weird. You were holding one of your clown shoes that you had walked around in for many years. I have never seen you when you weren’t being a clown. My dad doesn’t show much emotion but when he seen you he had a tear in his eye. He grabbed me so tight. I try so hard to hold in my tears but when it comes to you I can’t. You taught me to be strong, but sometimes it is really hard to be.

I gave your friend a picture of you and him together. He was the one who clowned around with you to watch over you. He wrapped me in his arms and hugged me, it was one of the most warming hugs I have ever felt. When I gave him that picture of you and him together he cried he told me he was trying to hold in his tears all night. I made a grown man cry, by one simple thing that I did. He asked me how I could get the picture back to him after he was gone himself. Making others happy should always come first; you taught me a very important lesson.

Thank you so much for everything. Watch over me. You are the best clown. I hope you’re riding horse up in heaven. You better practice rescue race, then we can kick butt, and you don’t have doctors telling you what to do. Little things remind me of you all of the time. I will hold that picture of you and I so close to my heart. I am reminded of you every day. Rest in peace, Auggie. I hope to see you again someday.



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