Last week I was reading our local newspaper, when I came across a small blurb about a dead body found in one of our local waterways. It happens so often around our parts, at least several times a year, that it's not a shock. It invariably turns out to be some guy (don't recall any women...ever) who lived on a boat that was docked at one of the many marinas or piers. It's never explicitly stated in the articles, but it's not hard to imagine that the guys come home tanked from a night on the town, and probably slip getting back on their boats. Sad, just pitifully sad.
Well, I knew this body. Worked with him about 20 or so years ago when I worked at one of the local marinas when I was home on summer break from college. Super nice guy, very well-read, incredible craftsman. I remember him being very good with wood-working. He was polite, and came across as very well-educated. Kind of an anomaly in a boat yard. I know he was a drinker, because we would sometimes hang around after work and drink, but he would always retire early.
We lost touch, but being in a small town, you tend to run into people over and over (if your a drinker) at the same local boater's bars. We'd exchange pleasantries, and move on. Once I stopped drinking, I never saw him again. The paper mentioned that he was only 55 years old. Seeing as how I have one eye squarely looking at forty, 55 is not old to me.
The next evening an article ran on the front page, quotes from some people he worked with over the years. And his mother. I cannot begin to imagine the horrific nightmare that a mother must face when her child dies of something so senseless. Hell, to lose a child, no matter what. Breaks my heart for her, and for the people that knew him best.
Tim, you were a gentleman and a scholar, and a damn fine artist. You will be missed.