Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good Bye to a friend

Song of the day: "Tears in Heaven" Eric Clapton
Mood of the day: somber, sad, crushed

I learned the other day I lost my best and favorite friend. Mr Richard Gundersen Jr. AKA "GUNDY" and please make sure you get it as "sen" and not "son" as it was his largest pet peeve.

As I sit here crying, I can hear Gundy saying, "None of that now." and yet I can not stop the paths of salt water from leaking.

Gundy helped to build me as a person, he gave me confidence when I had none (well the beer helped some days too), he was always there (even if he acted annoyed) for me, and most of all I returned the favor.

Gundy entered my life on an awful night when I was 17. I had worked late and had to walk to that horrible parking lot in the south forty. I did not mind the walk. I minded being a young girl, it being dark and foggy, and the whole isolation from the world I felt walking through the mist. He appeared at my shoulder and in his happy go lucky voice said, "Not a good night for a girl to walk alone." I felt no fear of his 6'5 frame and ZZ top (OK well it was shorted than that but... this is blogger) beard. I knew him from afar. I had waved at him several times when he worked the North Bound station. We walked to my car and chatted. For hours. I said I had to get home before my mom started to worry. He said he could follow me home and pick me up and we could have a beer. Honest Ed here said no. I was too young.

But that did not stop us from starting a great friendship. I am sure I will miss like everything important but here is a shot at the things we did together.

We loved to explore. For the better side of ten years you could find me co-pilot of one of his Ford Rangers. I will start with a drinking story.

When I was of age to drink, and had drank prior to this... Gundy did not break my drinking Cherry! We were out back roading. Yep. Drinking and driving. Or uth... easing a few back. I was tired and stressed from my mom and school and working ... oh just little life things. My cat Emerson had died. I was sad and weak. I didn't work that night but I called the station and asked him if he could swing by after work and pick me up. He was game. He turned the horrible day into one of the funniest ever.

We picked up two 6 packs of Molson Ice from the Sunoco station. We were doodling around and I had to pee. He stopped. Let me back up a second... I hated to pee outside. I was always afraid a rabid raccoon would bite me in the ass! So, I made it short and sweet. I got back in the truck and took the last beer with a solid oath. He said we'd make another beer run, he was low on gas. Me... in my drunken stupor said... "How do you know that your low on gas?" Meaning more... I couldn't find the gas gage on the Ford dashboard.... he says.... "DO YOU SEE THAT GAS PUMP OVER THERE?" and I looked. Out the window. Rolled the window down. Looked behind us. Looked into the woods. Looked at him. "W-w-where? am I missing something?" (I was so blitzed I was looking for an actual GAS PUMP like there was a magic gas station in Timbuktu. Gundy was laughing so hard it was like deep takes of air. The truck went into park, the lights went off, and he hung his head on the steering wheel choking on laughter trying to catch his breath. SO.... I started laughing too.... it was contagious. He gets control of himself and asks... "Why are you laughing.... were you pranking me by looking around?" and that made me laugh harder ( I was a tad bit of a prankster) (just a tad).... and I started laughing harder and was suddenly in the position he'd been in a few moments earlier. So, we'd get control of each other, make eye contact, and start cracking up. Then... there were headlights, and red lights, and my coat over the beer.
Officer - Is everything OK here?
Gundy - Yes. She won't stop laughing. I had to pull over because I was laughing and I did not want to wreck my truck.
Officer - Miss.... what were you laughing about....
me- deer in headlights look- I forgot and that caused us both to start laughing..... again.... and then the officer starts laughing.... and Gundy is trying to squeak out about having to get gas before he took me the rest of the way home.
Officer - Miss.... why is getting gas funny
me- because as he said that I farted ( I couldn't think of anything else to say).
Officer - Sir, good luck with that one. Have a nice night and please move along.

So, we started to laugh again and the officer left and Gundy eased it into drive and headed back to Sunoco.

I started a series of story's once and named them Gundy tales. I will have to see if I can turn them up. It was more like an ode to our tenure at Mobil New Baltimore.

Then there was the Newspaper box massacre.

Someone was steeped at the local rag. The newspaper boxes you put change in and get your paper from were coming up missing and turning up in the Henry Hudson River. It was on the news, in the (cough cough) paper, and all over word to mouth. We were heading to a car show and talking about it. It was about the time Stephen King came out with that (fucking) book "IT" and we passed a road sign that had a word out of the book on IT... I cant remember if it was one of the peoples names or what. And my mind clicked the magic link.
Me- VENDING MACHINE MASSACRE
GUNDY - What ?
Me - we should totally clip the articles and send them to Stephen King for his next POS
Gundy- write it yourself...

OK that was lame. Fast Forward to team Flannel.

There was a scary night. I got a phone call from Gundy. Rarely did he call. He'd either show up or I'd call him, etc so on and forth.
Gundy - I just got out of the hospital. I'm coming over we are having a beer.
me- WHAT?
click.
So, he shows up. And he tells me his doctors name is Dr Ramashawami and if anything should happen to him and I am around the Dr's card is in his wallet and I am to page him. And then there was something about writing me as a beneficiary. I didn't know what that was so he explained that after his mom, if something happened to him, I was taken care of. I am sure that has changed.

Oh there is so much. I am so overwhelmed with gief, I can't think clearly. I want to get to the Nishiki Mountan bike, the kiss, the friendship, graduation, him getting mad at me... me leaving NY.... I just cant. I've lost my friend. I am so sad I am in physical pain.

Gundy. RIP. This will be continued when I have the strength.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Wendy said...

The tears won't stop for me either....if it wasn't for him I never would have learned to golf. He was the rock for so many there, beer after golf, after work, just hanging out, talking....I remember when I shared the news of Veronica's birth, when I was promoted, loads of things. I will miss him so...

2/23/12, 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gundy will be missed, this is for sure. I had the pleasure to work with him and even to be his boss for quite a few years. He touched everyone he came in contact with. It was evident at his funeral how many people he had touched and will miss him. We may never understand why such a joyful mans life ended in such a manner, but I hope now he realizes how many friends he had out there.~Don

2/26/12, 7:24 PM  
Blogger LL said...

So sorry JennyLu. *smooch*

3/31/12, 11:01 PM  

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