Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday 1/3/2010 The Passing Of A Friend

Monday

I was sitting in my kitchen last night at the computer, contemplating finishing up an entry for Sunday when my cellphone started ringing. I looked at the name that popped up on the screen: Boe, one of my best friends on the planet.

I answered in my normal way when talking to him but was not greeted by Boe. Instead, it was a lady's voice on the other end of the phone. She wanted to know who I was, which I thought strange to ask a person that you just called. This is ben. She declared that she is Boe's daughter.

I got a bad feeling about this. NO-ONE uses Boe's phone except Boe. She proceeded to tell me that Boe had passed away on New Year's Eve day. It took a minute for that to sink in. The thought of losing one of the few, real friends I have on this earth? About floored me.

She went into the story - he had a heart attack, followed by a stroke. They took him to the hospital but, it was a done deal. This guy was one of those types of people that everyone liked. No-one could hate him. I thought about the life-long pain he had suffered at the hands of a drunken Army Sargeant - the man got into a 10-wheeler, on of those big things the Army uses for personnel and such - put it in reverse and proceed to run over several men sleeping in a tent and also over Boe's leg.

Boe has suffered pain ever since then, some 50 years ago I'm thinking. I thought how he must feel right now, freed from that broken body.

It was a few years ago, something like 2 or 3 I'm guessing, that I started seeing Boe with a Bible in his hand. He started learning scripture and really fell in love with the Lord. It was almost shocking to see that man with a Bible, but it gladdened my heart to see him doing such and, over time, starting to be able to come up with Scripture. I only throw that in there because I know he is with the Lord, which means, at least from my view of it, he is in a FAR better place right now than any of us mortals living here on the earth.

That doesn't help his family, of course, especially his wife. They were married some 40 years. Or more. I'll have to find out. It was a long time, I know that.

I'll never forget the way I came to meet Boe. I was living in that trailer park - he and his family were, too. Some ladies in the park had started a homeowner's association to take on park management which was extremely abusive to everyone. They needed a person to take the president's position and had approached me about it. I wasn't particularly interested. I asked them to find someone else. They told me that I was the only one they knew of that had the guts to stand up to that bastard of a manager.

I had already stood up to him and his threats several times and had not backed down. I took the position, we scheduled a meeting in the main hall and I had flyers sent out to everyone in the park. Boe showed up, standing in the back, talking with another man, basically saying what a crock this meeting was and how it wasn't going to do any good at all.

He wouldn't quiet down when the meeting started, so I had to ask him to tone down or please leave. He made some sort of comment, but by the end of the meeting, he had a different tune. Boe and I started meeting together and going over landlord and tenant rules and regulations as put forth by the state of Arizona. We then started delving into all kinds of legal issues that the park was posing in their actions towards many tenants.

We became really good friends. He was the man that called me on 9/11 - I was sound asleep when he called - and asked if I was "watching this?". What? The TV. I asked what channel. He said ANY channel. Turned it on and there was the first tower smoking with a gaping hole in it. As Boe and I discussed how that POSSIBLY could be an accident - how does a professional airline pilot just somehow not miss a gigantic building? The second jet slammed into the other tower. We then knew there was no accident going on here, this was an act of terrorism. You all remember the skies after that - empty.

But, this is about Boe, not 911. He was a great man. Even in the worst situations, he was able to keep a smile on his face and an upbeat attitude. You can't replace a friend like that, you just can't.

The daughter told me that my name and number weren't in his phone. I said I had called him last time he was over at my place, like 2 or 3 weeks ago and he had saved it. Nope, she said, it was gone and his wife would not have the phone shut off until I called, as they had no other way to contact me. Josie is his wife's name, a beautiful, lovely lady and I'm sure hurting right now. I couldn't talk to her last night, they had given her a sleeping pill to get to sleep because, of course, the grief had overcome her.

It's hard for me just because he was one of the few friends I have left. I mean, I have plenty of acquaintences, lots of - dunno what you label them - half friends - I just don't think we make too many real, close and personal friends in life. I dunno, but the next coming days are certainly going to give me cause to think about all of this going on in my life. I don't take the death of close friends or loved ones very well, I just don't. I have been asked to come to the funeral, of course I will be there, don't know yet what day it's going to be. He is going to be buried in a veteran's type of cemetary somewhere in north Phoenix.

I don't really have anything else to say. I just wanted to pop a hello out to my friend, I know he's up there.

ben

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