I was never very close to him, however, I can say safely that I was proud to call him my friend. There was the time that I gave him a ride home from TRP years ago, when he sat in the backseat behind Brown Roa and next to Mike Hale, and calmly and politely informed a young me that the I-94-less route I took to Mike's house was completely and totally inane. There was times we would call him while working on Aight Chill in the summer of 2010 for directions to spots in his native Ohio, and he was always willing to spend a few moments in navigating us towards some good architecture. Of course, there was times where I would bump into him at Elizabeth Park, and he would be doing the sort of skating that would normally make me feel humbled to be skating in his presence, however, the way Ryan held himself was not with a negative attitude. It was almost like he simply did not know how good he was at skateboarding.
The last times I saw him were in Detroit in the beginning of the year. He was working at Campus Martius, I believe, and during that time period, the only skate spots that seemed feasibly dry and relatively salt free happened to be The Wallride Spot and those black marble ledges super close to the wall across the street. He would step out to have a cigarette on break and see me and The Mayor, walk across Woodward, and shoot the shit about what we'd been up to, watch us try and film what we were doing, then leave, always parting with a dap.
Ryan Gaynier was the kind of person that would share his last cigarette with you, that would go out of his way to say "What up?" to you when you arrived to a session and to throw daps on the way out, to everybody at the spot, cheer for anybody landing a trick, and was the kind of person that had one of the most positive auras about him. He always had a moment to catch up with his friends and shoot the shit, share a spot, or suggest the next destination or ask what you've been up to since you last spoke to him.
Go out there and try a new trick for Ryan Gaynier every day you possibly can, because that is exactly what he would still be doing if the Michigan skate scene was still blessed with his presence today.
Rest in Peace, Ryan. We all miss you dearly.