|Well, I lost two more friends this past week which, if you are a certain age, and your friends are a certain age, isn't totally unexpected. Still, the world lost two good men.
One was Red Bartley who I met though my work on several committees that dealt with fishery issues. He was the long-time President of the California Striped Bass Association, an avid angler, and one who cared about the issues and was willing to work hard to correct the problems. He also was just a plain good guy.
The other gentleman who died was Jim, a neighbor one street over. When walking my dog Ginger, I would always head over to his street first to see if Jim was also out on a walk. Jim was 89, had served in U.S. Intelligence in Germany following WWII, and was a treasure trove of stories about what he saw. He liked Germany, met a young German woman that he eventually married, and lived in the country for many years. He was always reading (often books that were in German), and we would discuss the books, places to visit in Germany, and history. We might be talking about the Romans or the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, or modern history, The time period didn't matter because we both loved history. He' would say do you remember such and such and that would lead off the discussion. Luckily we both were fairly knowledgeable about historical events and people and what one of us didn't know the other one would. I'll miss those walks and talks.
Red died of cancer and he knew it was coming. Nevertheless, I think it came quicker than he thought based upon his Facebook posts. Jim had a mild stroke one day at home, spent a couple of days in the hospital, seemed much improved and came home. A couple of days later he had another, more severe, stroke and he died. It was over fast.
As said, when you get a certain age you know death can be just around the corner and though it's not something to worry about, you're always aware of the possibility. It's a reason to get your house in order, to have a will made, to set up burial plans, and to let your sons and daughters know what those plans are and where the papers are located. I'll miss Red and Jim just as I'll miss the half dozen other relatives and friends who have passed his past year. But life goes on.
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