This week was bittersweet on many levels, but it has been a blessing too! I was able to honor two good friends… one living and one gone. My dear friend Walt passed unexpectedly last week, but I’ll get to that fine gentleman in a moment. On Sunday evening Vanessa and Izze and I joined the Hurlbut family and friends to celebrate the 95th birthday of their Dad… Ray.
Ray is my buddy John’s Dad. One of the oldest living WWII Vets in the state of Ohio, Ray served in the Navy as a radio operator on a bomber in the Pacific and other venues. The Hurlbut family and the Kaukonen family have become very close over the years. Our daughter Izze carries the name Lucy on her passport. Lucy was Ray’s wife… John’s mom.
‘How are you doing?’ I might ask… and Ray is just as likely to answer, ‘Still cheating Death, Jorma. Still cheating Death’ That’s a dark witticism… but Ray is not dark at all. To have a friend such as him is such a blessing.
And a hearty thanks to Kevin Morgan for his great poster!
That was Sunday with Ray and the Hurlbuts.
Today Vanessa and I drove to Cincinnati for our dear friend Walt Sample’s funeral. Walt was called Home suddenly for reasons that may elude those of us left behind. Was his work done? Was it simply the way it was? This is not for me to say. I do know that Walt touched many lives from many worlds… different sorts of people with humanity in common. Today at the funeral home Walt bound us together with his spirit and I shall hold this feeling close to my heart as long as I live.
You made a difference Walt… and you continue to do so!
Honor, love, respect… These are the measure of a man! Ray has them… and Walt will always have them. I can only aspire to follow in the footsteps of such truly good men!