LOST FRIEND

Roger's View from the Hills

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“EVERY MAN DIES. NOT EVERY MAN REALLY LIVES.”

William Wallace

It seems that every time I go to the confuser to see what is going on, I get a punch in the gut. You younger folks need to pay attention to what I am saying. I decided many years ago that living is something many take for granted. I have seen so many people in my lifetime that just exist and never really live. I did not spend my life chasing the almighty dollar. I have too many interests and the drudgery that life can become ends up being a wasted life.

Life is a gift. I always liked the bible passage about the hairs on my head being counted before I was ever thought of. That is what distresses me about those who would destroy a baby and not give it a chance to have the same gifts that all of us possess, just so it is not a bother to it’s self centered mother.

I am at the point where there are doctors poking wires into my heart and machines imaging everything in my body that is working, or not. It is hard for a guy that started driving at age 12 to not go out and get in the truck and go wherever I feel like going.

Losing friends are an occurrence on much too frequent basis. I sit at the computer every Saturday at noon and listen to my friend Tennessee Jim Farrell on his Full Gallup radio show. It is now played as a memorial and it is the place where Jim is still alive. I have not taken off his phone number on my phone yet, and the last emails we exchanged are still on my email that I can re-read so he is still alive for just another minute more.

I have a routine everyday that I go through. I check my emails, check Facebook and say happy birthday to my friends that are having them that day. I read the Hutchinson News, then check the Wichita Eagle’s obituaries. I then can get busy researching and writing on my next book. This is where I get my gut punches, when I find out that I have lost a friend or someone I know from my past.

This morning I found out that another friend is gone. I never got down to his ranch but I would see him every so often when he was doing a show close to me. I even have a manuscript that I wrote based on a poem that he did. He liked the story but told me “aw the story can stand on it’s own without me being in it.” Since I have not found a publisher for my novels it just sets on my shelf.

If there was someone that made lemonade out of lemons that life gave him it was my friend Baxter Black. I saw him many times live, have his books, tapes, watched him on TV and videos. I dated a lady for a while and took her to see Baxter live at Pratt Juco. She had such a good time that she remembered that night for the rest of her life.

I have heard his stories so many times that you would think I would be tired of them. Nope! His stories and antics cracked me up every time I heard them. I have a favorite picture of him when we were at the IWMA Festival in Albuquerque. It is framed for my wall in my office. That wall has been a wall of memories for me. It is getting more so as my friends are leaving for the great beyond.

If I can impress on you anything it would be that friends are a gift to help you in life and get you through the hard times. God created you to help others. When you lose someone it is to remind you that there is better coming after. It will be better because not only will we praise God for eternity but all of our friends that went ahead will be there to join us.

Happy Trails Baxter, will be following your trail soon.

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