Word came down this week that My Guy finally passed away. He lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease at only 74.
I have not been able to visit him since March of this awful year, 2020. But even back then he was barely able to respond to me.
I kept recalling his words from a few years back, when he said words to the effect that he wished he had taken action on his situation when he still could do so.
For the last few years he was trapped in his failing body and failing mind. He could not feed himself. The staff at the Bedford VA had to feed him, dress him, change him, and see to his every need.
He was utterly helpless.
Which is a long step away from the tough, wiry guy who fix anything, build anything, who was sent to a non-working asphalt plant in Vietnam and got the thing running at 600 degrees to pave roads and runways.
I am glad he accepted my friendship and that we took those epic trips to Maine together, that we shopped at hardware stores together for projects that would never get built, that time I sneaked a drill into his room at the VA and we secretly drilled holes into his cabinet to mount his radio.
I am glad that we could sing those bluegrass Gospel songs together along with our hero Doyle Lawson.
He is gone, so his name does have to an open secret anymore.
He was Dave Cummings, a relative of Mary Cummings, who fostered Mary Cummings Park, where we met.
Dave loved that park. I loved that park, and I loved Dave, that ornery, tough, old-time local part of history.