I remember when Ryan first came into the world, I was about a year and a half and to be honest. I was a little bit confused. At first I didn’t really know what to think about it, I mean I now only half the attention from my parents. But as I got older, I realized I had the perfect partner in crime to do ANYTHING and my Mom and Dad only gave us twice as much love.
After thinking about all the stories and the ways Ryan affected our lives, one theme is really apparent to me. Ryan lived with love and not fear. Ryan was never afraid to be himself and live the life he wanted to live.
Ryan and I did a lot together. We started swimming when he was 4 and I was 5, we both loved trains, we both were super into power rangers, we both went in with my dad to buy a nintendo 64 so we could play mario kart for hours, we dug a hole in my backyard and found a treasure chest, we played catch, which lead to home run derby and then we played on the same baseball team, the Angels. We both went to Priory together, we played flag football together, we golfed together at deep cliff, he actually won a golf tournament when he was 11 (between that trophy and him within a little league championship) he always had bigger trophys than me and I was pretty jealous. After baseball it was paintball, after paintball it was airsoft, then skateboarding, then mountain biking, then archery… and so on. Ryan and I were driving my parents absolutely crazy. It seemed like every month we had a new enfatuation with some new hobby. Thankfully our parents were there the whole time to support us and let us try everything we ever wanted to do. This is another example of how Ryan lived with love and not fear. He was never afraid to try new things and whenever he tried something new, he dedicated himself 100% and love every second of it.
It wasn’t until High School when Ryan and I got really into making music together. He was really good at it. Soon after, he produced a song for a bay area grammy nominated artist Del. Also, after the SF giants won the world series, we made a song together called “We are the Champions”.
From there he developed the character 3pac and a brand “zero hoots”.
Through his brand and mantra, Ryan empowered people to be themselves. He taught people to give zero hoots about what others thought about them. He taught people how to love themselves and not be afraid to be the person they wanted to be. Since his passing, I have received countless messages from fans telling me they were depressed and suicidal, but once they heard Ryan’s music and his “zero hoots” attitude, they were able to find comfort in being who they wanted to be. Throughout Ryan’s whole life he was living with love and not making decisions based off fear. Now he was teaching thousands of others how to do the same.
Over the past few years, Ryan was able to gain over 20 thousand followers on youtube and perform shows in Palo Alto, San Louis Obispo, Montana, Canda and Utah. His popularity was growing quickly. On top of finishing up school and lifeguarding at the YMCA he continued to build his brand because he loved the connection he had with his fans. Three weeks ago, his friend Tad interviewed Ryan and Ryan told him a story about how he recently went to a Homestead High School football game and was immediately recognized by everyone. One student walked up to him in near tears and started telling Ryan how hard the past few months had been, but after hearing about his music he was able to get through it. He asked Ryan if they could speak on the phone sometime. Without hesitation, Ryan gave him his cell number and told him to call on Sunday. Ryan loved his fans and was never afraid to talk to them on a personal level. Once again, another example of how Ryan lived with love and not feat.
Also, Ryan constantly had people adding him as friends on facebook. Here is a message from one of his fans, Jay Albert…
“A little more than a year ago , I decided to add Ryan on Facebook after a year of watching his YouTube videos. During that same time I was going through depression, and was attending therapy and also on anti depressants. I was posting a lot of negative statuses on my page due to the depression, and then one day Ryan messaged me “son you’re giving way too many hoots. I want to save you son, be part of the zero hoots gang son and never give hoots again son. And with the private message I went from a simple YouTube viewer to a member of his Facebook group “Zero Hoots Gang” where him and his fans communicated and kept in touch about the importance of not giving hoots. Ryan “3pac” Harryman, was more than an entertainer to me. He reached out to me, kept in touch with me, and became family through ZHG.”
His followers were never afraid to confront him about their issues. People found comfort in talking to Ryan. Not only was Ryan living with love and not fear, but now, so were his fans who he included in his family.
Ryan may have physically left us from earth, but I know his spirit will live on forever. The Zero Hoots movement is too powerful and has affected so many people’s lives. Ryan built it and we will come together to preserve it.
In the near future, I want to make the zero hoots website a sanctuary for people to share stories about how Ryan inspired them to make music, get through difficult times, and be theirself. Also, in Ryan’s honor, I want to build a recording studio in Santa Barbara for anyone who needs help recording music and creating art. In the long term I want to build a zero hoots center. A “hoot free” zone that allows people to walk in escape the hoots. My vision is a center with painting rooms, jam rooms for muscians, recording studios, meditation rooms, yoga rooms, and locally grown food with healthy eating options. Ya gotta eat dem greens son. You’re all invited, but please remember to leave all your hoots at the door.
Ryan, it is an honor to be your brother and I am so proud of you. You taught me how to live with love and not make decisions off fear. In your own words, “We are All One Under the Sun Son”.