Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ken Braswell (c1941 - 2009)

Another old friend has died.

I first met Ken Braswell when we played for two years on Little League on the Southern Discount team. Our coaches were Romeo Hudgins and Pepper Martin. His position was first baseman. He was good at it.

My position was bench warmer. I was good at my position too. I had a better view of the game.

Ken was a good student and a good athlete and apparently a good father. He took an active interest in his kid’s organized sports the same as his parents did. I know, one time I waited on him at the post office, he was an officer of his kids’ sporting organization and was transacting business for the organization.

In recent years he became a regular breakfast eater in the morning at Carol’s Café in Marietta where other ex-MHS students, now retirement age, would meet for a morning social.

He smoked.

Ken died of a massive heart-attack.

Death will be a common occurrence now days, among friends my same age.

Timely, I received this poem on email from a friend as I was typing this post:

In View of the Fact by A. R. Ammons
The people of my time are passing away: my
wife is baking for a funeral, a 60-year-old who

died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it's
Ruth we care so much about in intensive care:

it was once weddings that came so thick and
fast, and then, first babies, such a hullabaloo:

now, it's this that and the other and somebody
else gone or on the brink: well, we never

thought we would live forever (although we did)
and now it looks like we won't: some of us

are losing a leg to diabetes, some don't know
what they went downstairs for, some know that

a hired watchful person is around, some like
to touch the cane tip into something steady,

so nice: we have already lost so many,
brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our

address books for so long a slow scramble now
are palimpsests, scribbles and scratches: our

index cards for Christmases, birthdays,
Halloweens drop clean away into sympathies:

at the same time we are getting used to so
many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip

to the ones left: we are not giving up on the
congestive heart failure or brain tumors, on

the nice old men left in empty houses or on
the widows who decide to travel a lot: we

think the sun may shine someday when we'll
drink wine together and think of what used to

be: until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every

loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter

and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way. . . .

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Blogger NellJean said...

One day you realize: "We are the old folks."

5:59 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Yep, we have arrived.

6:10 PM  

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