R.I.P - In Memorium
Last Saturday afternoon, my good friend for over 20 years was killed in an accident while we were cutting winter firewood.
I first met Buzz when he was only about 10. I had gone out to check out my uncle's new property on the island and he was out there clearing some land with him. Even though Buzz was just a kid, we struck up a friendship that lasted for years. Buzz had a rough childhood and was abandoned by his family (which everyone but Buzz saw coming, drugs definitely wrecks lives), and my wife and I took him in and allowed him to "temporarily" stay at our house until other arrangements could be made. Somehow, over the years those arrangements never came to fruit and he became part of the family and stayed with us permanently. All in all, Buzz was pretty responsible - we did visit with the cops now and again because of something Buzz had done - Usually it was because the neighbors had called because of "disturbing the peace" (you know how teenagers are!) and nothing more serious. I'd like to believe that we provided him with a good home and were good role models.
Buzz was a born woodsman (pretty rare these days - especially with someone so young), he spent most of his time outdoors, and had a lot of stories of beautiful places, close calls and spectacular falls. Every Autumn, we'd go out and cut 3-4 cords of wood off the back-forty for winter firewood. Buzz was always the first one ready after a storm to go cleanup fallen branches or broken trees and in the spring, he was the first to suggest we go clear up the winterkill - even if there was still snow on the ground (I think he liked the smell of exhaust, oil, and fresh cut wood).
Over the last 4-5 years, Buzz had a few serious health issues brought on by being wild and wreckless when younger, and had to have surgery. He never really recovered from this. Still, he always kept a positive attitude, put on a show that his health was good, kept on going and you could tell was still looking forward to getting out for firewood... but you tell he was slowing down and every outing was becoming more of a challenge.
Last Saturday, a beautiful day in all respects, Buzz was killed in a freak accident while we were out cutting wood. There were several people around, and we had cut wood for about 3 hours pretty much nonstop--we stopped for a lunch break and Buzz was sitting on a stump next to the compost pile taking his usual post-lunch nap (as he liked to do). While he was snoozing, one of the kids was goofing around on a tractor and came whipping around the compost pile, didn't see him and clipped him full-speed with the front-end-loader. Buzz sustained some pretty serious injuries, was bleeding profusely, and we did all we could to comfort him and stop the flow. Care was called for and he was rushed off for help. Sadly, Buzz was pronounced DOA at only 30 years of age.
I will miss my friend of 20 years. You were a great friend and I am glad you were part of our family.
Rest in Peace Buzz - my trusty Stihl 028 WB, 1980-2010.
You will be missed forever more.