Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Always have good friends

It's been more than a week since the last post. I hate that, but too many things came up. At the top of the list would be the passing of an old friend, George Kibedi. He was a fixture of my childhood. He taught me how to draw, and how to thread film through a projector. He and his wife, Andrea, founded and housed the homeschool where I studied until I was 13. He was a Hungarian, and a refugee from the Nazi occupation, the Spanish civil war, and the Chilean dictatorship of Pinochet.

All that was before my time. To me, he was the guy who rented movies for us kids on Friday afternoons, and who brought tea and cookies for everyone to snack on.

He framed a drawing I did when I was about 9 years old. The drawing was of a fancy earthenware jug. It probably wasn't that good, but hey, my artwork was framed and displayed right at the front of his house. Drawing was one of the only things I had any inclination for in those days, so it felt great to be validated in some way.

When the homeschool broke up, I saw less of the Kibedis. Andrea died when I was 18, and I barely saw George after that.

Around Christmas time, I discovered that he was at a retirement home right by my girlfriend's work. I decided to visit her for lunch one day, and then stop by to visit him. He was much older than I remembered. He used to tower over me as a child, and now I was the taller one by more than a foot. I continued to visit him every week, and then my mom called my work on Thursday to tell me he'd passed away. It was exactly an hour before the time I usually went to meet him.

I didn't mean for this post to become a memoriam. It was going to be about other things that happened during the week; good things. But maybe I'll just stop here. I'll do a cheery post tomorrow. I promise.


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