“Lonely..I’m mister lonely..I got nobody..for my own”. (Bobby Vinton 1964)
Missing Linda a little bit.
Can you tell?
She’s been in Arizona for the past week and a half (our longest separation in over 30 years) whooping it up in the desert sunshine with daughter Christy and sister, Renee leaving me here to fend off this abysmal sub-zero invasion from the north by myself. When she called the other night, it was the first time I’d talked in two days.
Even when she IS home there can be long empty periods of silence; not because we’re mad at each other but we’ve unintentionally grown comfortable in our own space. Time can easily pass without a whole lot of conversation and we’re good with that. But this is way too long.
Linda’s being gone has also made one thing crystal clear; I’m a slob. Let me explain. When she is here, I really do try to clean up after myself not leaving dirty clothes or dishes lying around. I’ll rinse the tub after use and occasionally give the toilet a swoosh with a brush when necessary but this living by myself has been an eye opener. I’m not entirely sure how to operate the dish washer so I’ve been doing them the old fashioned way which has led me to discover that I go through way too many dishes and they tend to stack up in the sink which has also lost its shine because of dried water spots. The stovetop, microwave and floors in both the kitchen and bathroom all reflect the careless clod I am and what a mess this place would be without her. Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not melancholy over Linda’s absence simply because she keeps our little abode so spick and span it’s just that I’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for the challenges she faces each day living with me. Don’t worry, I’ll have everything squared away by the time she gets home..although I might leave one muddy footprint in the hallway as a token of my love and how I can’t get along without her.
When it gets cold like this I often flash back to those times on the Keloland news set when weatherman, Dave Dedrick, would issue a “Brass Monkey Alert.” It was a little naughty, I suppose, but everyone sure knew what he meant.
God, I miss that man.
To commemorate this, the third year of his passing, I thought I’d share the eulogy read at his funeral.
EVER SINCE SUNSHINE ASKED IF I’D GIVE A EULOGY, I’VE STRUGGLED TRYING TO COME UP WITH JUST THE RIGHT WORDS TO STRESS WHAT A GREAT MAN MY FRIEND DAVE DEDRICK WAS AND WHAT A HERO AND MENTOR HE WAS TO ME. BUT THEN I REALIZED, HECK ANYBODY WHO KNEW DAVE AT ALL FEELS THE SAME WAY.
I’LL BET THAT EVERYONE IN THIS SANCTUARY COULD STAND UP HERE AND TELL STORIES OF YOUR OWN ENCOUNTERS WITH DAVE OVER THE YEARS.
HE LEFT A LASTING IMPRESSION TO BE SURE ON EACH PERSON HE MET WHETHER IT WAS DAVE THE SCHOOL MATE, DAVE THE MARINE, DAVE THE BROADCASTING PIONEER, DAVE THE HUNTER, DAVE THE AUTO RACING ANNOUNCER, DAVE THE WEATHER MAN, DAVE THE GOLFER..SINGER..EMCEE OR..OF COURSE..DAVE..MAN OF THE FUTURE..GIVEN THE POWER TO CONTROL TIME.
THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THAT DAVE DEDRICK WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO BE CAPTAIN ELEVEN..A TELEVISION AND REAL LIFE ROLE MODEL AND HERO TO SO MANY GENERATIONS OF KIDS.
COME ON..WHO ELSE COULD HAVE PULLED IT OFF? WHO ELSE COULD HAVE WORN THAT BLUE UNIFORM WITHOUT LOOKING SILLY.
NO, WE NEEDED A KID AT HEART AND DAVE DEDRICK WAS EXACTLY THE RIGHT GUY FOR THE JOB AT PRECICELY THE RIGHT TIME.
I WAS 9 YEARS OLD WHEN WE GOT OUR FIRST TVSET IN 1955..THE
SAME YEAR CAPTAIN ELEVEN APPEARED FROM THE OUTER GALAXIES. I, LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHERS BECAME A FAN OF THE MAN AND A FIXTURE IN FRONT OF THE TV AT 4 O’CLOCK EVERYDAY TO WATCH THE SHOW..WISHING THAT I COULD BE THERE SOMEDAY TO SEE IT ALL IN PERSON.
I DON’T MIND TELLING YOUR THAT WHEN I ACTUALLY WENT TO WORK FOR KELOLAND IN 1974..I WENT INTO THE STUDIO ALONE ONE EVENING AND JUST STARED AT THE TIME CONVERTER WITH IT’S HIGH VOLTAGE ARC AND ROWS OF COLORED JEWELS THAT ..WHEN SWITCHED ON..MADE CARTOONS HAPPEN AND SO MANY KIDS HAPPY.
I FLIPPED ‘EM ALL..OF COURSE..INCLUDING THE ONE THAT STARTED THE TWIRLITZER SPINNING.
I CONSIDERED CHECKING TO SEE WHICH ONE OF THE KEYS WOULD UNLOCK THE TOY CHEST BUT THOUGHT BETTER OF IT.
A FEW MONTHS LATER, DAVE POPPED HIS HEAD INTO THE AUDIO BOOTH WHERE I WAS WORKING AND SAID, HEY..PALLY, I HEAR YOU’RE A GOLFER, WANNA PLAY SOMETIME?
AND THAT WAS THE BEGINNING OF A GOLFING PARTNERSHIP THAT LASTED 25 YEARS.
YOU LEARN A LOT ABOUT A GUY SITTING NEXT TO HIM IN A GOLF CART FOUR HOURS A DAY 3 DAYS A WEEK. WE HAD MORE LAUGHS THAN LOW SCORES BUT IT WAS ALWAYS FUN…ESPECIALLY LISTENING TO HIS STORIES WHICH HE CONTINUED TO TELL EVEN DURING HIS BACKSWING.
SOMETIMES WE’D BE RIDING ALONG AND HE’D JUST BLURT STUFF OUT OF THE BLUE. I REMEMBER ONE DAY WHEN I WAS BETWEEN MARRIAGES, HE SAID, “YOUR LINDA SURE IS A DOLL. YOU BETTER HANG ON TO HER, PALLY.”
EVENTUALLY, WE GOT TO KNOW EACH OTHER’S FAMILIES AND SPENT LOTS OF MEMORABLE SUMMER EVENINGS SITTING ON THE PORCH..DAVE, MARJEAN, LINDA AND I, ENJOYING A COCKTAIL AND LOADS OF LAUGHS. DAVE QUIT DRINKING IN 1978..BUT HE STILL LOVED PLAYING BARTENDER AND WOULD ALWAYS SAY, “ CAN I FLUFF THAT ONE UP FOR YOU?”
IT WAS GREAT FUN JUST LISTENING TO DAVE AND MARJEAN TALK..OFTEN AT THE SAME TIME.
IN THE EARLY YEARS, WE’D CHAT ABOUT MUSIC, MOVIES, FRIENDS AND ROMANTIC GET-AWAYS WE SHOULD GO TO.
BUT IN LATER YEARS, THE CONVERSATIONS WERE MORE ABOUT DOCTOR APPOINTMENTS AND WHO WAS ON WHAT MEDICATION..HOW MUCH AND FOR HOW LONG?
ONE THING THAT NEVER CHANGED WAS THE LAUGHTER AND COMFORT WE FELT IN EACH OTHERS COMPANY.
A FEW MONTHS AGO, LINDA AND I SPENT A LONG OVERDUE EVENING AT THE DEDRICKS AND IT WAS GRAND..LIKE ALWAYS ONLY THIS TIME WE REMINICED A LOT ABOUT OUR YEARS AT KELO.
I WONDER IF DAVE SENSED IT WOULD BE OUR LAST SUCH EVENING-BECAUSE THE NEXT DAY I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING EMAIL FROM HIM.
“DOOGLE, IT’S BEEN SO LONG THAT I HAD FORGOTTEN HOW MUCH FUN IT IS TO SPEND AN EVENING TOGETHER WITH DEAR OLD FRIENDS.
We HAVE SHARED SO MANY YEARS OF GREAT MEMORIES THAT OFFER US A TREASURE TROVE OF SUBJECTS TO MULL OVER. THE ‘GOOD OL DAYS’ FILL OUR DIARIES WITH LAUGHTER AND SATISFACTION THAT ‘WE’ WERE THERE TO WITNESS THE FRUITION OF OUR DREAMS COMING TRUE. WHO SAID THAT WE COULDN’T DO IT? HOW WRONG COULD THEY BE.
NOT A DAY GOES BY WHERE SOMEONE ON THE STREET WON’T RECALL THEIR FIRST MEMORIES OF SEEING US ON TELEVISION WHEN THEY WERE GROWING UP. I TAKE IT AS A GREAT COMPLIMENT THAT WE FILLED IN OUR OWN COMPARTMENT IN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MEMORY BANKS THAT GREW UP IN THESE FOUR STATES WE DUBBED KELOLAND.
I LOVE IT WHEN THEY SAY ‘HI CAPTAIN ELEVEN!’”
“OLD WOOD TO BURN, OLD BOOKS TO READ..OLD FRIENDS TO TRUST. NOONE CAN EVER TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US! LIFE IS GOOD, MY CUP RUNNETH OVER.”
Rest in Peace old friend.