I saw a picture of a friend of 20 or more years ago yesterday and I smiled; immediately taken back to the last memory of a tournament we were at, there was an issue over really bad coffee…a stand up for your rights moment. Petty but it seemed relevant at the time.
Memories came flooding back of his humour, his great personality and his conviction in what he believed in. Of fun times in days gone by when I was learning my craft and he and his peers were my own personal sporting heroes. Standing on the edge of the circle whilst most sipped Budweiser from the bottle, they discussed oil patterns and ball choice. Replaying frame after frame of games, citing American and European bowlers as examples of this that and the other. I was in awe.
His son was born a few weeks early. A joyful occasion as he was scheduled to be on a business trip at the due date.
Then my smile fades as I recall the shock of learning, in a phone call from a friend, he had gone missing: the days of landlines and pay phones. I even recall asking the dumb question ‘are you joking?’ for days then weeks we all hoped for news, again, no facebook to communicate, word of mouth.
With heavy heart we attended his memorial service. Pulling a friend to one side to tell him to pull his flies up before he got up to read a eulogy and we celebrated his life. Our lives move on and memories fade but your memory lives on JC especially in that bowling towel.