Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Earl R. Lewis, My Longtime Friend, Has Died

To the very last moment of my life I will be thankful for a friend as fine as Earl. I saw him for the last time in hospital, only a few days ago. He was sedated, in a coma, suffering from complications of ARDS. He was on a ventilator and hooked up to other machines. I was not sure if he could hear me, but I told him he was my best friend and the best friend I could ever hope to have.

I read the e-mail from his wife, Jenna, which said, "The Man Is Gone"..."He died this evening"...

I met Earl in 1962. We worked a job together for Ashburn Ice Cream, behind the counter, when we were still in high school. We went to university together and shared an apartment. He helped me through hard times. For all the years after he was married, I still saw him often. Many times we would go to a restaurant or cafe for a meal, drink beers, and talk. Talking to Earl was one of the greatest pleasures in my life. This man of marvelous wit and humor would have a person's side bursting with laughter, with both cultured and outrageous jibes. This soft-spoken, tender, compassionate man was the most reliable confidante and counselor anyone could wish for. I miss him deeply, I remember him, and I feel sorrow for my loss and for the loss felt by his wife, his son, his grandson, his sister,as well as all the friends who loved, deeply loved, this incomparable fellow.

He and I would always call each other "Old Man". Goodbye, Old Man.


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