The three Buds…they were fixtures in my neighborhood for several years. I lived in an “Our Town” kind of place where people sat on their porch in the evenings and waved hello to neighbors passing by. When a new family came to town there was a visitor with cookies or cake at the front door the next day. So it wasn’t unusual to see the same people on a regular basis. Three of those people were named Bud. Not really their proper name but the one they were known by none-the-less.
Bud # 1 we called- Bud who Walked. Everyday like clockwork he would walk briskly past our house. Always friendly, but he seldom had time to stop and talk. He was on a mission. All of a sudden we stopped seeing him. It was several months gone by before we found out he had suffered a heart attack. Not knowing his last name or exactly where he lived we couldn’t visit to wish him well. Then one day here he came again. He was really on a mission now to stay healthy and take advantage of his second chance. Only now he had a little more time to stop and chat once in a while.
Bud #2 we called Bud in Mud. He was the husband of a voice teacher at the college where we were on the faculty. We often saw him at concerts and arts events with his wife. He also wrote a column of musings for the local paper. He was an excellent, insightful writer that could put an interesting turn on any subject. He got his name from one of those columns. I wish I had a copy of it now as I don’t remember the details anymore. Of course the subject was mud and I remember laughing loud and long everytime I read it. Which I did over and over. He developed Parkinson’s and stopped appearing in public and eventually stopped writing as well shortly before he passed.
Bud #3 was Bud Next Door. He was our neighbor and a very interesting one as well. An antiques collector, bed and breakfast owner, important in the development of the Marshall Plan and instrumental in NASA. He was a charming man with whom we shared a love of music. We used to sing Christmas carols in German together, Oh Tannenbaum and Stille Nacht in particular. He eventually sold his beautiful Victorian home when it became too much to handle and moved to a small apartment. We no longer saw each other as frequently but we reconnected near the end. When he was in the hospital I would visit and once again we sang German carols. I was there when he transitioned.
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
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