Very early this past Friday morning our next door neighbor, Glen "Junior" Swift was killed in a motor vehicle accident while on his way to deliver produce at a wholesale market in Tampa. We don't know the details except that the thick fog may have attributed (it was the day after that 70 car pileup on I-4).
He farmed turnips (yankee potatoes, he called them) in the winter and peanuts in the summer.
We dearly loved him, simple as that. A kind, generous person with a devilish ornery streak made for a great friendship. Originally from Kentucky, Junior moved to Ocala in 1973. He related wonderful stories of who was who and what they did and how they ended up. If we mentioned that we needed or wanted something, he loved to reply "...let me make a phone call". My political views are liberal, and he loved to kid me about the dems and Hillary.
Now I glance at the kitchen table forlornly knowing that these precious conversations have come to an end. It's an uncomfortable feeling - this not wanting to let go. Funny what depression will do when it gets a toe hold.
Just last Thursday I leaned against his pickup, getting caught up on the details of his busy harvesting and he in turn inquired about the painting I'm working on.
Life does a one-eighty at any moment. We're never ready.