Although I never met Rodger in person, I got to know him through watching his videos and exchanging messages & comments over YouTube. I think that if we did meet in person, we would have clicked right away. We have a similar taste in music and simply put, we’re just some down-to-earth Michigan boys (I was born in Michigan, but mostly raised in Ohio), which is probably why I gravitated to him a bit more than the other J-vloggers out there.
Rodger Swan was definitely one of my very early influences not just in learning about Japan (his videos are second only to TokyoCooney if you want to get started learning about Japan), but in making my own videos. Even now, you can still see some of his influences in my videos.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but when someone so young like Rodger suddenly dies, it usually takes me a day or two for it to really sink in that they died. Initially when I heard the news, I thought that it was a prank or something. Unfortunately, after doing some further investigating and asking around online, it was confirmed that he did indeed pass away by none other than TokyoCooney, who had actually contacted the school that Rodger worked at in order to find out for sure what had happened.
Ever since Rodger passed, I incorporated several things that he did into my own videos to not only pay tribute to him, but because I like to do them.
One of the most significant things that I do is end my videos with, “We’ll see you next time!”. Sometimes, it’s the little things that made a big difference in the videos that Rodger did.
Another thing that I did is cut back a lot on my swearing. Of course, this may not be plainly obvious to my newer viewers who just watched the video I did earlier this week called “Bitches & Hoes”, but if you watch my earlier videos, I think you’ll notice a shying away from, as Spongebob put them, “sentence enhancers”.
I hope that when I do eventually get stationed in Yokosuka, I get a chance to visit the same places that Rodger did in my favorite Tokyo Swan video: “Real Life Shenmue“. Definitely check that out!
Well kids, I’m off to go back to base. Rest In Peace Rodger, and we’ll see you next time!