Been a few weeks since I found out Q kicked the bucket. Not real sure how to think about it. My memories of him were pretty much all bad...and I don't even mean his infidelity.
I think one of my strongest early memories was from when I was about 10 or 12. I still loved baseball more than any sport. I loved to watch it, listen to it, goof around with my baseball cards...I remember many a night listening to `550 KVAN fading in and out, crackling, trying to follow the call of Rick Rizz as Bill "the Inspector" Caudill tried to close out a rare Mariner win as I played the game I invented using 6-sided dice and baseball cards.
Anyway, even more than watching or listening or playing pen-and-paper games, I loved to play baseball. All day, all night.
And when the Church at St. Helens decided to get together with Bonny Slope for a game, I was about as excited as I ever got about anything.
Proved to be just one problem. Q did not like me. Not that I necessarily blame him...I was far more obnoxious and annoying then than now. I was also about 12...
Well, Q decided on his own that he did not want me to play. But I did not know that. Kyle, Billy and I were pretty jacked for it. They were probably too young to play (though both would eventually vastly outstrip me in baseball talent) as they are 3 or 4 years younger than me...but they would go to watch.
So we rolled out to Bonny Slope and time came for the line-ups. And Q, making sure nobody was around to hear, told me I could not play.
I was so upset. I still remember running behind the building to cry because I wanted to play so bad.
If I recall correctly, Becky Romero was the first one to find out what was going on. She told her husband (and Dad's very good friend) Art. He stepped up and said I could play with them.
Now, I may have loved baseball...but the odds are I would hurt their team. He had no obligation to do that. But that is the type of guy he was (is?).
Well, when Greg saw me playing for them, he did some investigating and found out what had happened. He then ensured that not only did I play with St. Helens, he had a talk with Q about the appropriateness...or lack thereof...of his actions.
I have never forgotten what Becky, Art and Greg did that day. I can not tell you if I played well or poorly. I can not tell you who won the game...or even if score was kept.
But I can tell you I saw the difference between people like Becky, Art and Greg on the one hand and Q on the other.
Some people let dislike for others lead them into actions they should not take. Other people take actions they don't have to because they are trying to make the world a better place.
I think later events showed the difference even more clearly. Both Greg and Q are no longer with us physically, but the type of people they were remains. Strange as it sounds, I am thankful I met both of them because it helped me learn a few valuable lessons of my own.
What I wanted to say - Dear Tootie, You are no longer suffering, and for that I am grateful. I've gone through so many feelings since you left this world Saturday. Grief, relief...
2 weeks ago