|Both of our FIRST School Dance ...not sure the year , we were YOUNG UNS|
ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG??? OR PUPPY LOVE ....either one of those songs would accurately fit this situation , this fabulous person...this person in my life that had a tremendous effect on my life and my outlook on it, even today......
yep we all have it ...that childhood connection, the one that everyone refers too when they talk about "puppy love" .... this was mine..... and his... as a matter of fact...
I had been in "real love" prior to dating my middle school/high school sweetie. He had too.. and he had gotten his heart broken.....but good..... I didn't know her, never met her but didn't like her because she broke his heart.
I met him sitting on the cement stoop of his home pushed closely against courthouse road. It was tall and green and leaned towards the road. It almost appeared as if one day it may tip over just a bit and end up in the middle of what was then just a two way street. Behind the house were two out buildings and a trailer. All were filled with antiques, relics and treasures that had been collected for different reasons and there was not enough room in the house for them. The way the buildings and trees were situated, it almost made a square around a yard of dirt and some parking of cars around and about and in and out of the yard. There was always "dust a flying" for one reason or another. People were coming and going all of the time, and all of differing ages. Babies , young people , old people and even older people "shot the shit" , "made some small talk, " smoked lots of cigarettes, occasionally drank beer or purple passion or what ever was available at the time and Mary Jane . Well let me clarify this, there were no babies (under the age of at least 8 partaking in substances) but made much mischief , learned adult things much to early and became 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations of their ancestors.
His red hair caught my attention first. It was thick and full and rich in color. It wasn't the "orange" red hair of a clown but the red hair of an irishman, a real irishman , complete with a mustache at his young age. My previous boyfriend was several years older than he was but his mustache was not nearly as thick as Lewis's. His confident ways were the next thing that "impressed" my pre-pubescent self. Anyone that knew him , would recognize or remember him laughing , bouncing and taking one of his hands and throwing back his thick red long locks that were his trademark back in the day.
We instantly became friends, from the moment Mandy introduced us. We were like siamese twins. We spent almost every waking hour hanging around each other , doing things .... some good, some bad and some quite mischievous. We sang, we danced , we laughed. We played darts and spades. We smoked....lots.... and we laughed. We mainly "hung" with Mandy, Rusty and Carl because of proximity of course but also because of our common interests for our spare time, which as teen agers was A LOT .
We also spent time with his family the WELSH'S. Annie and Steven with Trina and then lil jungle book cutie AKA BUSTER ..and many others to follow all lived in the house with Betty Ann and Pop. There was never a dull moment. Lewis and I would sometimes take the long ride to the prison to visit his brother, Ernie , who has been incarcerated, off and on through the years. We rode in the back of a pickup truck with a camper top, just he and I. There we would tell ghost stories, knock knock jokes, play War and sometimes just comfort each other about the strange lives each of us lived as children. We would take polaroid photos of the visit, eat with Ernie and then climb into the stifling back of the camper with sleeping bags, cracking the window opening and let the wind blow our faces and hair all around and laughing at each other. We would often listen to music, mostly fleetwood mac, Rolling stones (angie), Jerry Jeff Walker and of course his favorite Lynard Skynard. He taught me a lot about life.... and how to be happy with very little, he never complained , as I did, about doing without.
The one thing Lewis never did without in his young years was love. He was his mothers favorite (in my eyes) and got special gifts (boom box, cigarettes, mountain dews etc) in secret when the family couldn't afford to give to all of the children they gave to him. I am sure they found out sooner or later but Lewis felt love for sure for several years of his life in many ways ...and had special bond with both his parents, just at different times of his life. I was around for both of them. I loved them all and he did too, every last one of his family members...unconditional love..... and even though Lewis was the "black sheep" in many ways he was also the 'golden sheep" and helped them all out in gratitude and loyalty his entire life. . If you knew Lewis , you knew this about him.
|the LEW that I returned too after years in NOLA ...|
Lewis had many girlfriends during his young years, adult years and two wives that he loved during different times of his lives with all of his heart. How do I know this? He told me. He shared with me many things, hopes and dreams, and secrets and joys for many many years. There were also years we didn't speak at all. But not for lack of want or love or rememberence of our coming of age together as best friends..... but for lack of understanding by some in the world .... some that saved his life more than once, by others that controlled my life that had intertwining lives with him and family members, and yet others that like to stir pots. You see some ....don't understand or have the luxury of having that type of relationship their entire lives.
The last time I actually saw Lewis in our adult lives, we cried together.... for many reasons, we shed some happy tears and some sad. Sad because we knew we would never see each other again here on earth...we knew we would meet on the other side. I touched his freckled hand and told him..... that I would never hold him responsible for it and he thanked me and said..... but you know......if you ever need me for anything...I will be here for you. He also told me that he knew God had a purpose for him because his wife had saved his life twice, he was thankful to be in the vertical position and his son needed and loved him.....oh ...he added and the dogs."
We talked on the phone one time after that .... he wanted to thank me for understanding everything and helping the times that I did.... with misc. things. He said he wanted to give me a bonus to surprise me but life had a way of messing that up for him. He apologizd.
The vagueness of why ..... why two people who are best friends their entire life through 2 marriages cant be friends without being "looked at funny" "or threatened by those that love us" escapes me...... and escaped him and our opportunity to say goodbye eye to eye..... for-ever....... the telephone...
say what you want about it.... but it gave me that voice one last time....when he left this earth there was no reason to utter my name, no reason to feel regret.... all business was finished ...that we needed to finish.... I knew his heart , he knew mine......
Its funny we stayed friends from about 1975 until his youngest son was born. And then something happened on his end and ....we went our separate ways but kept in touch here and there. His son is now about 20 years old. so for about 20 years our contact has been very limited.
He passed away privately. Had a private burial I hear. I was on a cruise out of the country... having the time of my life.... but the entire time I was saying Bon Voyage to him , my childhood BFF... my rights of passage friend that no one can ever erase from our memory. I knew that he was not suffering any more and I knew that one day I will see him again and I will see him in a place where there is no boundaries of love.... and no hardened hearts .....and only love .... and he will be suffering no more.
Selfishly ...the world will miss him, his smile and his unique way to remind me of the olden days , days of my youth with just a few words...... "OTAY buckwheat" and "piglet" come to mind... and thats just for starters.... there are so many things on this earth and people that remind me of our young days in the sun.....
|Kim South & LEW (makes my heart smile) love them both|
I won't say I miss him....I already got over that part....... I wont say I am sorry for staying away ...because that was only for him.... to keep peace in his home life..... he never caused any strife in my own life perceived or in person..... I won't say I felt or feel sorry for him because he didn't want others too EVER , even in his darkest days and TRUST ME HE HAD MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE...... I am not sorry that I didn't donate to his gofundme account , because he asked me not to do that, I even asked his wife and she never responded in any kind so I honored their wishes , I will say this...... from day #1 I met him until now my love and friendship for him did not falter, how could they? we even permed our hair together, went to our first dance together and even wore our first promise rings together..... NO ONE can take away the rights of passage that we lived.
If I could say one more thing to him it would be.....
"THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU , thanks for being part of my journey and thanks for allowing me the pleasure of you being a part of mine" I will forever remember the good ...and only the good and one day I may post some photos ...but for right now they are much to hard to see..... so .... I will just say....
LOVE YOU ALWAYS (or to quote him Always "ILY")
PS NAMES , PLACES MAY HAVE BEEN CHANGED DUE TO REFLECT MY PERSONAL MEMORIES AND MEMOIRS AND KEEP THEM "DRAMA FREE"
YEARBOOK PHOTO (not sure the year)