March 26, 2006
One of the curses of a good memory is remembering every slight, every ugly incident and every embarrassment.
And one of the curses of thinking you have a good memory is a wife and a classmate who remind you that your so-called "perfect memory" is only about half true.
Wendell's memorial service was a living testimonial to the vast divide that still exists in Mohave County between the "In-dins" and the "white people". More on that later.
Ten minutes into the three hour service, the feisty pastor asked if anyone wanted to get up and say something about the deceased, and Karen Collins (Johnson) leaned over and asked me if I was going to get up and talk and I whispered, "Only if Wendell wants me to." Of course, anyone who knows me, especially Wendell, knows that is a joke. A stage. A microphone. A captive audience. A fellow musician and Little League friend in a casket. Try and keep me off that stage. I dare you.
We heard quite a bit of music, both in Hualapai and White People, including a "singer" who was so flat even two drummers winced, and the casket was closed at the time, but I had a hunch Wendell was at the very least flinching (or doing the horizontal cringe).
Needless to say, Wendell's death affected me prfoundly. I got up this morning and told Kathy I need to get a will in place so that all my precious junk goes to the right people. Kathy laughed and reminded me I already have a living will, which we worked on in San Diego several years ago. "Don't you remember, Mr. Perfect Memory?"
"Robert has many stories but unfortunately only about half of them are true."
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