Tuesday, July 29, 2008
ONE OF THE GOOD ONES.
I usually gravitate towards the kind of folks who stand out in the crowd, the ones who gladly and almost blindly march to their own beat, and Betsey was no exception. She hired me last week to stain and seal her deck and veranda among some other odd jobs like painting her kitchen and hallway. She reminded me of a female Howard Finster with her odd folk art and cluttered knick-nacks piled up nearly to the ceiling of her cute little cottage tucked away on a corner of The Northside. Even her front lawn was copiously decorated with tiny ceramic houses and other lawn ornaments.
We hopped in her flower covered Volkswagon convertable to pick up some materials, and she warned me that she was a huge fan of Peter Paul and Mary, and she nervously confided to me that she love to sing rather loudly to the endlessly repeating compilation of their greatest hits in her CD player.
"Baby, let 'er rip!!!" was the only thing I could say, and soon we were rolling down the street singing at the top of our lungs. The proverbial Ice was broken. I ended up spending a greater part of last week hanging out with her, shopping at thrift stores, going out for lunch, or just sitting with her watching TV while knocking back a few beers. She loved the company, she would repeat over and over.
I tried to call her yesterday, and I left a message or two; wondering if she had grown tired of my presence. I even hopped a bus up to her house. I noticed the windows of her car were down, but no one was there. I left frustrated, and went to the bank to pay my overdue phone bill. She didn't seem to be in a hurry, and neither was I. Heck, I'll try again tomorrow.
I got a phone call last night saying that she had died in her sleep, and was found in her bed. She had trouble breathing while she slept, and had probably been dead for a couple of days. Betsey was 63, and I will miss my new friend. My heart is broken, and after finding out about her passing, I threw on "Leaving On A Jet Plane" and guzzled a beer while trying to hold back the tears.
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE mp3