Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Late / Two Shoes Tuesday # 26 -- My procrastinating friend

Up the street from the Blair (Nebraska) MacDonald's on a snowy December morning. We would end up with about six inches before the snow stopped coming down.

Set the scene from the fresh snow picture above.  My friend, "J", was late for work that evening at the tracking station atop the mountain in New Hampshire.  He was due to come in at 3:00 PM to do his job as Video Recorder position.

"J" did come slinking in at about 4:30.  Another friend had pulled his late model Chevy convertible out of the snow-filled ditch.  "J" was alright now, so he said, but he did lose consciousness when his car was stopped by a tree.

One thing to add.  "J" was from California and his Chevy didn't come with a heater so he kept a kerosene portable stove burning on the floorboard.  It was still heating when the rescuer came.  Lucky for all of us there was not fire.

It was often said that "J" would be 'late for his own funeral" as he was habitually tardy for everything including work and even parties.

Fast forward about thirty-five years.

At the funeral we were told that "J" was late for his own funeral but his body should come before evening.  He had been visiting his girl friend up north and had a heart attack and died there.

Now the airports were closed and all the planes were grounded.  Flights were to resume but were running late. 

We had the funeral without "J" and then retired to the after funeral party at the Outpost Tavern in Webster, Texas.  Reference the year 2000 movie, "Space Cowboys" (link). 

The tavern burned down in October, 2010 (link). Our NASA work group held a retirement luncheon there once a month until the fire.  It had been a popular hangout for Astronauts, Flight Controllers (me), and JSC NASA employees during the Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab NASA space missions. 
At the funeral one of my other friends giving a eulogy said that women had been very fond of "J" and that could be witnessed by his four ex-wives present for the funeral.  His body did come to the church around five and several of us went over there for a late viewing.

- - - - - - -

Two Shoes Tuesday is a place for bloggers to share what we enjoy doing most... writing! Each week Josie provides a one-word writing prompt and invite us to share a short story, poem, essay, thought, or photo relating to that topic.

The writing prompt this week for February 27, 2013, is "procrastinate". For a list of and links to those participating, go here.  I am just a little late for this Tuesday post myself as today is Wednesday.  I have excuses.

I like that he was late for his own funeral. Not that he knew that, but I like it.

Have a terrific day. ☺
What an interesting story! It sounds to me like J ended up his earthly days right in style, and I'm sure everyone loved it, including him! :-) Considering a kerosene heater in a car, he's lucky he didn't meet his maker then!! Thank you so much for a great prompt, and for joining in with this story for Two Shoes Tuesday! I appreciate your participation!
It should have been no other way. J was certainly consistent and he will be an indelible memory for you for many years to come.
enjoyed your little tale...I will post mine...tomorrow...
Oops... late for his own funeral.

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