I lost another friend this week, Joe Weaver, who most everybody that would be reading this blog wouldn't know. He was from Columbia, SC and was my brother's partner in the fire apparatus business. Joe was a unique individual to say the least. He was one of only a few people that I've met in my life that always had a positive attitude. When they would have a deal that they had spent hundreds of manhours working on and thought they had in the bag only to find out the fire department chose to go with another company he would just say "Oh well, we'll get the next one". When one of the suppliers would cheat them out of a bunch of money and my brother would blow up, he'd just say "Aw Papa, It'll be alright.". I did some driving for them delivering new fire trucks and showing demo trucks of all kinds to fire departments all over the southeast so I made a few long trips with Joe, just the two of us. It didn't take long after meeting him to figure out that Joe was a honorable, passonate man. You could tell right away that he was a Christian, a family man ( his daughter called him at least three or four times a day) and a die hard republican. He never thought twice about sending an email to George Bush giving him his opinion on world events and how they should be handled. He had views on the war in Iraq, how to control the southern borders, the stock exchange and just about any other world event taking place at the time. He once told me on one of our trips that if Bush didn't start listening to him he was going to quit sending him money. That's right, he was a faithful financial supporter of the republican party. If you rode in his vehicle, you listened to talk radio, no exception. He knew what stations to dial into whatever area of the country he was in and he would talk back to the commentator like he could hear him. his opinions weren't spur of the moment, they were well researched and thought out. He read all the time, like on our overnight trips, he would actually pick up the USA Today laying in the floor outside of his room and read it. I usually just stepped over mine as I stumbled my way down to breakfast. The only negative thing I can say about Joe is that his conception of time was NIL. If he told you he'd be somewhere at a certain time you could never count on that. He'd get busy looking over some department's specs and loose track of time. He was a closer friend of my brother than of me but he always asked about me cause if he found out I was under the weather or something he would call me to see how I was doing and to say he hoped I would feel better soon. Good friends are hard to come by.
I'm older than God's dog, or at least I feel like it sometimes. I've lived most of my life in God's little acre called Startex and the rest of my life within 6 or 7 miles of it. I'm married to my soulmate who was my highschool sweetheart and have been for might near 33.5 years. We don't argue but we do have some intense moments of fellowship on rare occasions. We have four beautiful children who aren't children anymore, two of our own and two who ours are married to that we consider ours. We also have three beautiful grandchildren who still are children. They love their Grandaddy and Mimi and that makes us happier than pigs in mud.
I'm a volunteer firefighter and have been for 34 years. I've been Assistant Chief since 1993 so I don't do much actual firefighting anymore. That's for the younger guys.
I sing in the church choir and sometimes in a quartet consisting of me, my son, my daughter and my son-in-law.