James Bundy, the father of my best friend, Carl Bundy, passed away today at the age of 90. He was one who took me into his home as his own on many occasions, taught me the finer points of being a baseball fan, and taught me the even finer points of being a STL Cardinals fan. He also taught me to hate bologna, as well as liver and onions. One of the cornerstones of my youth is gone today, but certainly will never be forgotten.
Tonight, I will have a Budweiser for you, James.
I was never very close with Eric Houser. I met him when I was 8 years old. We shared a table in Miss Lee’s 3rd grade class at Summersville Grade School. I don’t remember much of that year other than Miss Lee was horrible, and Scott Snyder and Eric sat at my table. I had just moved to Summersville from the Horace Mann district, and I was an awkward little jackass. Those two guys helped to ease the transition.
I left Summersville at the beginning of 5th grade when my parents moved back into town. I didn’t see or talk to Eric until high school. While we had lots of mutual friends, he and I didn’t hang out all that often. But, there was always a hello when we saw each other. We sat next to each other in an English class we had together in our Senior year, I believe. We talked regularly before class started about music, the books we were reading, our writing assignments, etc. Eric was always a good guy. I always enjoyed what little time we did spend together.
When you grow up in a small town like I did, the relationships you build when you are young stick with you. Though it may be years in between encounters with different people, they become part of who you are, and part of what the world is to you. They help to light the path that makes you what you are today. My world just got a little smaller and a little more dim last night.
For many, their world was ripped apart last night, and it will take years to even come close to healing the pain they are feeling. I can only hope that those close to Eric can begin to find healing, comfort, and peace.
RIP, Eric Houser.