Where have all the cowboys gone?

Today, someone I've known for a long time decided to take a leave of absence from work. Someone I respect a great deal. It saddened me. Thinking back now to the early early days, many of the people I started with now are gone, and many of the people I work with today are younger, from a different generation. I always joke that I feel old around them, but today, I really do feel old. Like a student who stays around in college to do a Masters, and then a PhD, who sees all his or her classmates graduate and leave. Hard to keep fighting when you feel like the last of a dying breed of gunfighter.
Maybe this is just how folks feel before they leave companies they joined when they were startups and have now become goliaths. It feels very lonely at work many days.
Maybe this project I'm on now is just wearing me down. I got home tonight and I didn't feel like eating, or going out, or anything. Just somewhat empty.
I also think it has to do with being a manager. I read something Colin Powell said about leadership, and it rang true. Being a leader can be a lonely job. You have to make decisions for the good of some greater group, and you will anger people, and you must accept that you will never get everyone to agree with you. It's just a little harder to do when many of your friends are the people you work with on a daily basis.
On a separate note, software is frustrating me to death. Especially my browsers. I keep trying to watch Quicktime trailers and they continually crash IE. So I use Netscape, but for some reason in Netscape my weblog software menu is missing a lot of buttons which makes it difficult to post entries. Sheesh, would someone just build some reliable, bug-free web browsers.
I have to decide if I can get away to attend John's wedding next weekend. I'd like to, but my project is keeping me swamped. If I do attend, I will run into a ghost from the past, someone I share much history with. Whether I'm ready or not, I have this feeling I am skating towards a sudden collision with the past.
The other day I dreamed I was at work, running around checking on my team, all stressed out. And I went into someone's office, I can't remember whose now. Maybe Bean's, or Robert's...anyway it was of course not the real office we work in but some random dream office. And the person there, I think it was Bean, was watching a movie on a small black and white television sitting on a desktop. In this movie, a man who believed himself to be an angel had strapped on some man-made wings and then launched himself down a runway and off a ramp in an attempt to fly. He attempted this over and over again, and continued to crash into the ground. It was like those old black and white videos of man's early prototypes for airplanes, getting a few feet off the ground before shattering on the ground.
And in my dream, I forgot why I had walked into Bean's office, and I stood there watching this movie, this man who thought he was an angel, and it moved me.