Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

I complained on Twitter from and about a funeral, today. In retrospect, I think that was really bad form but I couldn't help it. It went on and on for almost two hours. I even took a potty break. But I digress.

Ray Jones was my
high school speech teacher. It's because of him I memorized the whole Old Testament chapter about Belshazzer the King and the handwriting on the wall. He never gave me a part in one of the school plays because I was a jerk and showed how nervous I was during one of my class speeches. That's when I learned the valuable lesson that "you never let them see you sweat." That has served me well my entire life.

He was a blast. A gnomish little guy who was bombastic, full of life and a man who expected a lot from us. I remember snippets of Shakespeare to this day.

He told us one day he had some sort of neurological disorder that made it so that when he brushed his teeth with his right hand, his left hand mimicked the actions. He hands did not work independently naturally, so he hooked his thumb into his beltloop for most things so keep things looking normal.

He played Charlie Brown in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" and a gang of us youthish married matrons went to see him like the high school groupies we used to be. He was gracious and kind to us after the show, giving us the full impression that he remembered us.

He never married. I talked to his sister today at his funeral and told her that we had hoped that he would fall in love with Wanda Scott who was also a teacher at Provo High School. They were great friends and did a lot of things together and we couldn't figure out why their relationship didn't have a happier ending. His sister told me that she thought that they did fall in love but that each was so concerned with caring for his/her aging parents, that they never got around to it.

Too bad you didn't know him. You would have loved him too. I wonder he's checked out heaven for Shakespeare, his hero. If not yet, it'll happen and Shakespeare will love him too.

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