Today I received word that a very dear and wonderful friend passed on. My first feeling was sadness, but as I started to reflect, my sorrow was made to laughter. Eighteen years ago, come June, I moved to Earle Arkansas, a little place I had never heard of prior to that March. A friend asked me to drive her Mom home to Arkansas. Her mother had just purchased a home there; almost on the very site she was born. Her Mom was due to retire later that year, and she wanted to move home after retirement. I made 5 trips between March and June. I had fallen in love with the little place. Earle, Arkansas was peaceful and quite. Nothing like living here in the city.
Anywho, to make a long story short, June of 1994 I took a job in Memphis, and relocated to Earle, Arkansas. On my second day in town, my girl-friends uncle, whom we called Uncle Robert, asked me to drive him to the county-line. Earle is a dry town, so everyone had to go to the county line, or twenty-five miles to West Memphis for liquor. While parked on the gravel lot of the liquor store, just thirty feet shy of the county line. An old 78 Ford Fairmont, silver with red interior pulled up beside me. There were two older gentlemen in the car. The passenger got out and followed Uncle Robert into the liquor store. The driver got out and walked around to my driver’s side window.
Standing there with his arms folded, his gaze fixed, and the sun beaming all around him. He asked, “Do U know who I am?”
I said, “No Sir”.
He said, “You must be new around here?”
“Yes Sir”, I said, “Two days now”
“Well”, he says, “I’m Willie B. Hurst”.
I said, "Nice to meet you Willie B. Hurst".
With a slight growl in his voice he said, “Nawl, That’s Mr. Willie B. Hurst”.
“Oooh”, I said, “Hello, Mr. Willie B. Hurst”.
And from that day on, we grew to be fast friends.
I LOVE U Mr. Willie, I know I will see U again in the ‘HERE & AFTER’…