Tribute to The Ice Man

Jeff Schroeder

October 2, 1963 - October 5, 2009

The first time I attended Burning Man was in 2007, the Ice Man's first year also. The Ice Man arrived earlier in the week with his dad, the Mother Chucker. I had to come in after teaching a Wednesday night class. So I arrived on the Playa about 3:00 a.m. Thursday. The Mother Chucker had a walkie-talkie, we made contact and he guided me in. I knew everyone would be asleep. Not the case! As I pulled in there was the Ice Man and TBD sharing a bottle of tequila and those two made me feel as welcome to the Playa as any 20 people could have done. I had a drink with them and we shot the shit for a while.

As to his name, Jeff was ALWAYS willing to help any way he could, and when the call would go out that we needed ice (this was before Sir Loin invented our ice pulling cart), Jeff, or should I say the Ice Man would volunteer. He'd come back balancing bags and bags of ice on the handlebars and as I recall he would make two trips in a day when needed. Didn't matter how hot it was, he was the man!

In the spirit of Burning Man of this I am certain, each time the horn blows for shot of the day, each time people gather in our camp to laugh, tell stories and bond, and each time the call goes that we need ice, Jeff will always be with us spirit.

He is the first person I think of when I enter the temple each year and the last person I think of as I leave.

It was his gift to me to know him as a friend, as the son of the World's Greatest Neighbor and my favorite way to think of him… as a Burner!

Gregory "Stories" Shaffer

I learned to know Jeff many years ago when he was a youngster because of my friendship with his father, Chuck.

One of the greatest pleasures in life is to introduce someone to the playa - its size, its grandeur, its art, its traditions. So, it was with great excitement that I learned that Jeff was coming to the playa in 2007. He had just pulled in with Chuck when a water truck drove by with the usual following of naked people showering. Jeff threw off his clothes and ran for the water truck and took a quick shower in the cold water. No holding back for this fellow.

Jeff's presence was made known in so many ways. He was always right there to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. When a storm came up, a neighboring camp needed to get down a parachute that they had put up. Jeff was right there to assist. He was holding on to one of the ropes and a gust blew thru, picked Jeff off the ground and threw him against their liquor table. Jeff was no lightweight. We all learned the power of the wind that day.

We sent Jeff on a mission to get ice. What we saw when he came back was incredible and earned him the name - Ice Man. He has bags over the handlebars, bags over the center bar, bags over his shoulders. I am not sure how many bags he was carrying but it was impressive. He was truly the Ice Man.

While the Ice Man is no longer with us, his spirit is there as part of our playa family. The Ice Man will always be a Burner!

Sir Loin