Goodbye Gary

More than twenty years ago Judy McMeekin started working for my dad as a book keeper in Pawleys Island. That was when I first met her and her gravely voiced husband, Gary. Judy went from working for my Dad to working for Russ and is now the comptroller of his company. We have gone on cruises in the Mediterranean and trip to the Mayan Riviera with Judy and Gary and he was always up for a good time. Gary would always ask how you were with actual care and then see if you needed a drink from the bar.
Sadly, Gary passed away this week at the much too young an age of 68. Russ, his business partner Rich and I drove down to Surfside, South Carolina for the funeral. We arrived at the church almost an hour before the service began so we could see Judy and their son Gabe and found the parking lot practically full already. Judy called the service a sellout. Clearly, Gary was well loved by the many people he interacted with from football referees colleagues, to the relators whose houses he appraised, to his fellow parishioners at their church.
After the service Russ, Rich and I went to grab dinner before Russ took Rich to the airport to fly to Boston. On the way to the airport Russ dropped me off at the hotel I booked us into. Rich got quite a laugh as we pulled up to the Surfside Beach Resort Hotel. The parking lot was full of cycles of the motor type.
Gary, with quite a sense of humor, had passed away just before famed Biker Week in Myrtle beach. The funeral was a respectful twelve hours before the official opening of the nightmare time here on the Grand Strand. Of course Gary could have picked any other of good biker week times to go, like black biker week, or gay biker week or black gay biker week, but no, he picked the granddaddy of all, plain ‘ole biker week. Despite our lofty spot on the seventh floor, I can still her the roar of the Harley’s as they rumble into the parking lot.  

I figure this is the best joke Gary could play on us. We would not have missed the service because Judy means the world to us. I am really looking forward to getting a good sight of the people attached to those bikes in the light of day tomorrow. Seeing one biker is not so bad, but seeing a highway full of them reenforces my dislike of all things Harley. Of course, the average age of the attendees at biker week keeps getting older and soon funerals attached to biker week might be common place. Gary was a trend setter.

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