Sometimes, you reach a juncture where you realize you have spent too much time working on life’s minutiae. That is when you will probably stop, step back, and look around. Then you might hear someone say, “It’s time for a break!”
That’s what happened yesterday—Holly called for the break. Friends and family stopped life for a moment to party with Holly as he began blazing a trail into his seventh decade on the spinning blue-green asteroid arcing about the sun. It’s not his birthday yet, but it is getting close.
The mood was festive, as any party should be if it is to be worthy of being called a party. Holly’s friends came from all over. There were airport friends, business friends, surfing and diving friends, and others. Some of Holly’s family trekked in from different parts of the state.
From the observer’s platform, the number of people who had genuine affection for Holly was very impressive. Many who came to give Holly advice on how to make it through the next 60 years of living did so with serious intent. The rest just wanted to razz him; all in good nature, of course.
Through it all, the serious commentary and the light-hearted joking, Holly took it all in stride.
At one point, I saw an old photo of him standing in front of his airplane. “Holly, I can’t believe you had all that hair!”
With a grin wider than the propeller, he looked at me and said, “At least I still have the plane!”
It is the reason why everyone in the world loves Holly–he is the original optimist who always finds the good in life, no matter the situation.
He is also quite the farmer, for a Southern boy living in the city. He has been nurturing giant sunflowers in his backyard and in typical Holly-fashion, he offered to grow buds for others who might want a giant sunflower in their yard.
He has been nurturing people, too—family and friends all around him. As an observer, I have enjoyed watching the great satisfaction he has derived from helping those around him.
And don’t forget, he is—Raptor-Man!
©2011 J. Clark
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