I attended the graveside service today for John Merritt, age 74, a attorney, pipe smoker and good man. I always liked John and even though we were not real close, I respected him a lot.
About 60 people came to Hooper Weaver to say goodbye and many of us went on to the gathering at the Nevada City Elks. We all talked and told stories about John and it was obvious that he will be missed by many people. I saw many mutual friends and had a nice time catching up. Judge Al Dover, Ray Shine, George and Christine Foster, Mike Hughes, Linda Marchus, Mike and Diane Sherman and many other friends were there to say their farewells. John did a lot of real estate law so I saw some old friends and even some people I had built houses for many years ago, Some were Realtors and many were clients of John.
It is getting more evident that now that I am 60, I am losing friends I have known for a long time. Greg Seghezzi passed and I have known him and his family for a long time. His father was my Planning Commissioner for eight years, and Amos and Bev threw some fund-raising party's when I was running. Bev and my mom are friends too. I have lost some other people too over the last few years from accidents too. Maggie McNamee fell and passed away at 63 in a home accident. She was a Englishwoman married to an American serviceman she met in England, Bill. She was on the NCRCC with me and was a feisty, intelligent woman. I still miss her. Same with Peter Hughes, my partner on my radio show, also from England who passed away at 62 a few years ago. I stop by and say hi to him at the little cemetery at Indian Springs Road and Spenceville when I am down that way. What a smart man, and boy was he outspoken against socialism. He had lived under it and hated it.
I usually get misty when I attend funerals because it puts life into perspective for me. We aren't here very long and it is the friends and family that are the most important. Money, status and all the rest of the desires pale in comparison to family and friends. It was nice to see a lot of my old friends and it reminds me that their warm reception and handshakes, the hugs and stories are what counts.
I always think of my Pop too. He only made it to 62 and he has been gone for 28 years now. He was a well liked man. A respected builder here and to this day people will approach me and tell me how they still miss him. He was a WW2 veteran of the Navy and fought in the Pacific. I have done my best to live up to his standards. So, I say goodbye to John, he is with the Lord now, I am sure of that. And to Pop, I miss you a lot.