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Oct 3, 2007

Remembering Ben

It's been two years since I met judge Govendo's son Ben, who died when his car fell into a ravine, now called the Govendo Curve. I read his dad's letter in the paper and i believe he raised some important points there. Below is some part of his letter.
October 1 marked the second anniversary of my son Ben's death at the 1,000-foot curve in Sadog Tasi. I am happy to see the “jersey” guardrails in place and would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who successfully designed and implemented the building of these guardrails. I am thankful that no one died during the exceptionally long time it took to complete these guardrails.

Special thanks are due to Lt. Gov. Tim Villagomez who ordered it done, Rep. Justo Quitugua who found the money to do it and Rep. Cinta Kaipat who kept me advised of what was happening.

When I drive by the area where my son died and I see these new guardrails in place, I can't help but wonder, what if. What if these guardrails had been in place two years ago? Would he be dead?
The night before he left us, I was there partying with him at a common friend's place. It was a birthday party. Then, during the toast he said it was his birthday like days before too. His birthday was on Sept. 29. He was a delight in the party for being charming as well. We were all shocked the next day when the small group of people in that party called one another and shared the bad news.

I still remember Ben with his book in his hands whenever he'd eat at Oleai Bar. What an interesting person he was.


lil_hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

(noni) i knew ben well, he was a good friend of mine. in fact, we were out just two days before his accident, and out many times in the months prior. i know this is a sensitive subject, but the fact is there were many nights that ben left the club in no position to drive... at least not safely. his dad was right to continue pushing for the guardrails, but he should also have exerted as much effort promoting anti-dui efforts and programs... i know i'll get sh#t for this, but it is the truth... the guardrails are important, but dui is the more poignant issue of this heart-wrenching story. i miss ben, he was a good guy... it took me a long time to accept what happened and realize that i just wasn't going to see ben again.

Weird Elle said...

Rev, yes, I remember Ben as well.

That was the same night I met him for the first time...and the last.

we went to the same private party somewhere in sadog tasi. my little group left ahead of Ben's. hours later, we saw him at Johnny's Bar in Garapan.

Noni, there's no question Ben was drunk that night. I hope nobody else would suffer the same fate.

as what Rev said, don't drink and drive.

And one thing I'd like to say is that during the private party, a private lawyer (who is no longer on Saipan) was making/offering absinthe to everyone.

absinthe, alcohol and driving?

Anonymous said...

I have not had a drink since 1974 but I have heard about absinthe and its toxic effect on people. No sensible person would take that stuff, let alone offer it to others.


rev said...

yeah i remember absinthe. what kick ass drink eh?

Boni said...

You will get no shit from me about your comment noni. I remember Ben too, and his easy going, smiling, fun loving personality.

Anonymous said...

Ben was and will always be a good friend. I met up with him at oleai during lunch the day before his accident and we chatted awhile before he left, and yes he was reading something then too. Ben will always be remembered by me and all his friends. He was and always be a good friend to all who knew him.

Anonymous said...

we make are mistakes and sometimes tragic ones. but nothing will take away the fact that Ben was a great guy and spirited to.. like all of you it was hard to come to terms with what took place.. but I do know we will meet Ben once again..

bradinthesand said...

he was a good kid. the first time we met was doing tequila shots at a party for some of saipan's hottest dancers at micro beach. it was way after hours and we became friends thanks to our kinship with jose cuervo.

just about everyone liked him. i mean, even his ex-wife has nothing but good things to say about him.

there were times i thought that they were going to get back together. i think they did too.

Anonymous said...

It is well known inside our police circles that Ben was not just drunk that night, but felony fleeing the scene of a hit and run accident a couple of miles down the road from '1000 foot curve'.

It does little good to malign Ben now by disclosing that information but it does show that there were other, less celebrated victims that fateful night.

It makes the concrete rail there a little less touching to know the truth.

Anonymous said...

i wrote this post on my blog back on oct. 1, 2005:

"life is so difficult to read... you can not map it out... it is created each and every second and there is no predicting where it will pull you.

a friend of mine is dead today at 32...

everything is beyond our grasp.


bradinthesand said...

so what kind of police circles are you in? not very respectable ones if you are letting confidential information leak out of hq.

if it's not confidential, where can i get a copy of the report to verify your claims?

Anonymous, too. said...

I read "our police circles" as "CNMI police circles," not that the commenter is in those circles.

Unless exempt under Section 9918 of the Open Government Act, couldn't you contact DPS for a copy of the report in the hit and run case?

saipanboonieman said...

not to put blame or point fingers, but just a reminder to us all to CARE for our friends and not let them drive when they've had alot to drink. ben was a great guy and friend to many, let us not wait for something like this to happen again.

rev said...

couldn't agree more.

Weird Elle said...

So Rev, don't drink, drive, sing and dance, ok? so we don't need to bother Geek Goddess

bigsoxfan said...

Christ on a crutch, the kid is dead, drop it already and be thankful he didn't take anyone with him, guardrails or not.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I was a friend of Ben's back in the late 90's prior to leaving Saipan. We used to eat lunch together twice a week at the Japanese restaurant in the shopping plaza where the other Rudolopho's was across from Diamond Hotel. Ben was a hyper-intelligent, good hearted fellow who will be missed dearly. I felt like I was punched in the gut when I read about his death...He was the type of guy that would be friends with you just for the sake of being friends with you, a rare thing in the materilistic, what-can-you-do-for-me world we live in...bye Ben...

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