We had a motorcycle accident in May of 1971, early in the morning of May 6th, to be exact. We’d been out celebrating his birthday, but, the way the evening ended, it was touch and go if either of us would ever see another one.
As things happen, we both healed up fine over the months that followed, yet we drifted apart after I went in the military later that same year. We ‘moved on’ I guess, but whenever we’d run into one another we’d still have a great time, drinkin beers, laughing and catching up.
I moved in 1989, and didn’t see him much after that, then moved again in 1993 to North Carolina, further still, and my return visits just never had us in the same place.
In 1999, April 27th, I got a letter from my mother. In it was Bud’s obituary. I don’t know how to express what I felt that day. Sorrow for certain, but like I’d been cheated out of saying goodbye. That others knew he was dying and just never felt the need to tell me...
As I sat there feeling bad and more than a little sorry he was gone... I swear I could hear his voice... with the three words he’d been saying since we were kids... When ever there was any kind of problem, Bud would step up and say “Not to worry”. I recall it meaning he ‘had a plan’, and usually, eventually, he did fix whatever was the problem…
So Bud… This is for you.
For Merle ‘Buddy’ Smith (written 4-27-1999)
Thought we’d live forever
There’d always be, another time, to get together.
Time passed by it seems
Working on, so many dreams.
Marriage, Jobs, Careers, Toys
I always felt though, we were still boys.
Your birthday back in ‘71
Bonded us, for me, as though we were one.
On that day, no matter where, or with who
My thoughts were always with you.
That night, so busted up and broken
For livin’, was all we were hopin’.
All these years, good times and bad
I’ve never forgotten the fun we’d had.
Summer nights spent sleepin in the sand
Life and living was never quite so grand.
You were a good man my friend
Though now your journey is at its end.
We’ll meet again – though I’m in no hurry
I’ll remember always your words “Not to Worry”.