Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In Honour of Bryan

As a curmudgeon, he excelled. He seldom smiled. But when he laughed, you felt honored. He was one of the "benchanistas" who inhabited el jardin daily from about 10AM until 11:45, precisely. He would head home at 11:45 for lunch with Baby trailing behind him. What a sight!

We met when I first came to San Miguel ten years ago. "Met" is a loose term for sitting down next to him on the bench and conversing. Not about anything important, but about the weather, his dog Baby that was his constant companion until about six months ago when she died, and how good looking the women were along with how cute the kids were. That was the gist of our conversations for a year or so. He was a private man.

Little by little, I was able to peel the layers back and find out about his contributions to society in his business and personal world. He had managed hotels in the Carolinas and also been a successful stockbroker. He had a grown daughter and a daughter who had passed on almost forty years ago. He was married to a lovely lady in San Miguel.

When my daughter died in 2004, and all I could do at that point was sit on the bench for a little while and then go home again, he shared with me the story of the loss of his daughter. After forty years, he still cried. So, he was really not a curmudgeon but a softy. He was very kind to me during that time. I'll never forget.

We were absolutely at the opposite end of the spectrum politically so we NEVER brought that subject up. I always looked forward to our chats upon my return from some trip or another. He always seemed, in his low key way, to be glad to see me.

Well, last week I looked for Bryan - no Bryan - and on Friday when I asked someone, I was informed he had died. Zap! I was really, really sorry about losing that wonderful 84 year old man who I had shared so many conversations with.

I don't think I'll ever head to the jardin again, or sit on the bench, that I don't think of my dear friend Bryan. He was a cool dude.


norm said...

An old uncle told me when I was young, don't get old, you outlive your people, he would be 125 now. All of his young friends would be over 100. I was thinking of him today-he lives a little bit through me as does your friend through you.

Babs said...

Norm what a wonderful way to put that. There are so many wonderful old men here who relish the fact that they made their contributions to society and can, at times, sit back and enjoy the view and sunshine.
THEY certainly have taught me lessons.
I remember my grandmother telling me the same thing as your uncle. Sadly it IS beginning to be true. I've lost three VERY dear friends in less then a year. Two younger and one older......... said...

What a lovely tribute to a remarkable man...I know you will miss him.