I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Friday, July 04, 2008

Remembering Dee

One of the downsides of getting older is losing some of the interesting people we meet along the way.

I just got word that a beer-can collecting friend - Dee - died last night of a heart attack. In our local beer can collecting club, we have three geologists, a meterologist, sales people, and various other professions. We even had a NASCAR driver, Rich Bickle, for a while. In our larger region, there are doctors and lawyers in our group as well as truck drivers and farmers. Most of us have at least one college degree, which was something that I suspect Dee didn't have.

Such an unusual hobby attracts unusual, eccentric people and Dee was certainly one of those. Yeah, he was an unrefined redneck [I say this with all due affection not to be condescending], with no pretenses, but he was always friendly to fellow collectors and with affection, we always awaited his arrival at our shows. He scratched out a living working at a recycling center and sometimes would bring in some neat cans he would "rescue" at the recycling center, as well as some old dumper cans that he would find in northern Cobb County and adjacent areas of Cherokee County. And though he probably couldn't afford it, he would buy cans from us for his collection. He bought cans from me when I was selling off parts of my collection to pay bills. In some ways, I was no better than he, despite my college degrees.

I always made it a point to shake his hand when he arrived at shows and to say "Bye" to him when we parted. I never wanted him to think we were too "uppity" to appreciate him. Yeah, we joked about his gravelly voice and his "adventures", but we were always glad to see him. There will be some misty eyes, I suspect, as the emails get passed around about his passing.

And at our show in Macon in a couple of weeks, we will miss him and tear up a little. We will habitually wait for him to show up late as he always did, but then we will remember and carry on.

And if his widow decides to sell his collection to cover bills, we will pitch in while recalling "yeah, I sold him that can in Asheville in 2002 or was it Cartersville in 2000?". Just one of the colorful characters that make our hobby interesting.

[Cross-posted at geosciblog.]
Sorry about your buddy! Hopefully he felt fulfilled with his life.
He bought cans from me when I was selling off parts of my collection to pay bills
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