My Writers Circle

The Coffee Shop => The Gallery => Topic started by: Kowboy on November 12, 2011, 09:31:11 AM

Title: Eulogy For A Friend
Post by: Kowboy on November 12, 2011, 09:31:11 AM
There are two guys on the planet that could call me up and say they needed twenty large tomorrow and get it, no questions asked. With the passing of Bob Brown, thereís only one, my brother Thomas. I just donít want to live my life believing there arenít guys like him still out there; I just havenít met them yet. If you need a loan, fugetaboutit.

Please forgive my notes; Iím not much of an extemporaneous speaker. Thereís always something I wish I would have said afterward. I read the rough draft of this eulogy to my wife of thirty years. I wanted to practice reading without bursting into tears. I made it through, but she pronounced it so inappropriate that if I read it, she would not accompany me to the graveside services, saying  ďYou canít say that. What if there are children in the crowd? I told the story of my dad and Uncle Jim burning down the Turtle Island lighthouse when they were kids at Uncle Jimís funeral and everyone was appalled.Ē I took out the sex parts, but it looks like Iíll be going alone. In this instance, my obligations to Bob exceed those to my wife.

Letís get the fun stuff out of the way first. Iím sure the statute of limitations has run out on all of it anyway, but Iím sure Brownie would have it no other way. How about the time Boobus, as an adolescent, gassed up the mini-bike in K-Mart on Navarre Avenue and rode it out of the store? And didnít he and Charlie Atkins put a canoe on their heads and carry it out? Those hijinks made the local paper. Speaking of Charlie, when he was working the boats, he gave me and my cousin, Joey McGee, a joint to smoke on the way home after dropping him off at the docks. Brown found me and McGee incoherent at the top of the hill on Whittlessy Street, at the Garciaís, with the roach burning a hole in the sun visor of McGeeís í51 Chevy. He hit it a few times and joined us in the back seat. I can still hear him telling this story. It just doesnít get any better than that. Now Bob and Joe are both gone, leaving me with only treasured memories of a wayward youth.

I remember riding the school bus and seeing Bob on his single-cylinder BSA motorcycle in front of us. It was unremarkable except it was the middle of an Ohio winter. I guess Brown never got the note about the motorcycle season, or if he did, he chose to ignore it. Probably the latter. Several years later I found myself on the rear of Bobís Honda 750 going east on route 2 near Metzgerís Marsh. When a semi-tractor trailer decided to pass another, Bob decided it would be fun to pass between the two.  Iíll never forget the thundering walls of steel on either side, close enough to touch had I the guts to release my death grip on the bike. You all came incredibly close to hearing this eulogy thirty-five years earlier, written and read by someone else.
ďJoe, that chick canít sing.Ē That was Bobís initial assessment of Joni Mitchell. I kept playing her record, ďCourt and SparkĒ; her most commercially successful, and eventually he changed his mind. That was in 1976, when we shared a rental house on Starr Avenue, and before the Metro Drug Unit raided. There was always lots of music, recorded and live, courtesy of Bob and his guitar.

We stayed in touch afterwards, but not as much as I wish we had now. Brown isnít the first friend to battle a long illness and then get away without saying goodbye. So if youíre thinking of contacting an old friend or classmate, do it and do it now. With Facebook and all the other instant communication available there is no excuse.

 I may have another 30 or 40 years left on earth and Iím going to have to do Ďem with no Brown. That is tragically unfair, but itís the contrasting bitter that makes life so sweet. You were the best Bob. It was an honor and pleasure to have called you a friend.
Title: Re: Eulogy For A Freind
Post by: heidi52 on November 12, 2011, 03:42:54 PM
Lovely, Kowboy.

Made me choke up.
Bob would be pleased.

No crits, thanks for the good read.

Title: Re: Eulogy For A Freind
Post by: bowmore bill on November 12, 2011, 06:20:06 PM
Nice one kowboy, rel friendships don't come along too often.
Title: Re: Eulogy For A Freind
Post by: 510bhan on November 12, 2011, 07:05:23 PM
He'll have known Kowboy . . . you can't be that good a friend and not know. ;)
Title: Re: Eulogy For A Freind
Post by: Kowboy on November 12, 2011, 10:06:32 PM
Thanks everyone. I must have struck a chord because many came up to me after the service and complimented my remarks and a few even insisted on an email copy.

Title: Re: Eulogy For A Freind
Post by: fire-fly on November 12, 2011, 11:41:07 PM
 :-* :-* :-* :-*
Title: Re: Eulogy For A Friend
Post by: Kowboy on November 27, 2011, 12:58:49 PM
Too often we don't get the feedback we need when we write. I was certain I was on the right track with this, but my wife was not so sure and I'm hesitant to go against her because she's much more tactful and sensitive than I am. Vindication, in the form of a widow's thank-you note, is sweet:

Dear Kowboy:

Thank you so very much for speaking at Bob's funeral service. Your eulogy speech was perfect. He would have loved it! It was great to see friends and family come together in celebration of Bob's life. I will never forget your thoughtfullness.

With heartfelt thanks,

D. Brown