He bought me my first BMX...technically is was a Mongoose, with mag wheels. So badass. He always had us reach in the bottom drawer of his desk to grab a candy bar or a silver dollar. He begged us to come up and swim at his house, where there was more soda pop and snacks than any other place we knew. He treated us all like his own children. My parents called him "The definition of The Good Samaritan." He was. The older I got the more I realized that there weren't too many men in this world who would give you the shirt off their back. That was nothing to him. He taught me how to fly an airplane, and talked me through the process as I landed behind a huge jet, rocking back and forth until that wonderful touch down. He made me promise that when and if I ever got a jet, I would take him for a ride. I wish I could have done that.
Bud was a lot of things to a lot of people, and he was always, always upbeat. I could never put into words what a man like this has meant to me in my life, but I was at least lucky enough last week to tell him "Thank you."
Say hi to my dad for me, Bud. I love you.
7.12.11 Post Script:
I'm sitting in the office this morning, thinking about how brief that post was last night and how important Bud was in my life, as well as those of so many others. I think that it will take some time to really comprehend his effect. Time spent living a life made possible by him and others like him. Time at my desk, making calls on apartment buildings I want to sell, thinking about how my dad always called Bud his Mentor, and how Bud convinced him to get into the apartment business, which is what allowed my dad to make a real career and provide for a big family, helping us all through college and every other stage in life.
There are so many things to say Thank You for every day. There really isn't a time that comes when you can list it all down and set up a coffee with someone and summarize it to them, sharing with them that every single one of those moments we shared was impressed and important. Sometimes, you don't even get the chance to say the word "Thanks", and all of the sudden it's too late.
So Bud, for teaching me a little bit more about how vital gratitude is to keep in my heart every day: Thanks again.