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Walt • Posted: May 08, 2015 13:03:20Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

A friend of mine died recently. He wasn't a close friend, but he was a friend, someone I worked with. Not face to face, but with whom I communicated on an almost daily basis.

Work is never easy. It's problems, problems all day long, recurring problems, novel problems, stymieing problems, annoying problems, tedious problems, problems you can solve by yourself, and problems you can't without someone else's help. That's where Walt came in. He was there if I needed him, to listen, to suggest, to concur, to assist if needed. The best thing about Walt was that he wasn't part of the problem. Instead, reliably, he was always part of the solution.

I can't hardly tell you how valuable that was for me. But it was, very. In fact, my life expectancy is probably years longer for lack of him adding stress to my day.

Walt was a tall, lanky, slow moving, slow talking, clear eyed, decisive kind of guy. I have no idea where he was born. But he was a westerner. He lived in both Colorado and Nebraska. They don't grow people like Walt in the east, south, or midwest. Westerners have a different sense of time and space. They expect and propagate an easy rhythm to things, like the rolling of that wheel in the picture above. That old wagon wheel is not infinitely adaptable, like modern pneumatic wheels. It feels every single bump. And so it chooses its path judiciously, and rolls slowly and deliberately toward its goal. That's exactly how Walt was. No panic. No drama. Just clear thinking and decisive moves. He was a pleasure to work with.

Walt was nearing retirement when he died. There was no long debilitating illness. He just rose one morning for work and an unsuspected aneurysm near his heart gave out. There was nothing anyone near him could do. His blood pressure dropped. His heart faltered. Within seconds he'd lost consciousness. And within minutes he was gone.

We never really know what the next day will bring. More of the same, perhaps. Or something completely different. How we handle whatever it is, is who we are. The easy assuredness with which Walt handled things was both a pleasure to be around and a calming inspiration to experience. I am quite sure I will not be the only one who will miss the reliable grounded rhythm of his being.

Roll on old friend. Roll on.

Saturday, August 13th, 2011