Friday, April 22, 2016

Love and loss

I'll miss Prince.  I'll miss the softspoken genius who defined so much of what it was to be your creative self no matter the cost.  I'll miss the talent and uniqueness that has now gone from this earth.

But I also found out that someone else passed yesterday.
Tim Johnson.

I doubt any of you know him.  But I had the privilege of working with him at Mobil/ExxonMobil many years ago.  I worked in slitting which takes a massive roll of film on a metal core and cuts it down to customer specs.  I don't recall how Tim lost his back-up.  I want to say that maybe she became pregnant.  So I was moved from the machine I was on to 138.  137 and 138 were Camerons. They were located in the back of slitting against the wall, side by side.  And they absolutely flew.

The first time I worked on 138, I was moving the giant roll of film off a rack and onto the machine.  I bumped the edge of the film against the end, and Tim said, "Don't do that again."
Bet money I didn't.

We worked for years together.  Twelve hour shifts.  From 7 am to 7 pm and back again.  Three on and three off.
And I loved the hell out of him.
He was the type of man who would take off his wedding ring at the start of shift and put it on a necklace around his neck.  Then he would take it off the chain at the end of the shift and put it back on his finger.
I heard about his two girls and one boy who played ball and did well in school, and I could see the pride written across his face.  He was a family man.  He was a good man.  I had seen him once not too long ago when he brought his younger daughter in for a library card.
The whole crew arrived.  Tim, his wife-Stacey, Lyndsey, and Dylan.  His oldest was probably at work.  He talked about how Lyndsey had been in an accident but was on the mend.  He told me he moved from slitting out to the warehouse.  He seemed happy.  And that's how I'll remember him.
I've not been around a lot of good men in my life, but Tim was one.  And I know that so many will miss him.  I'll miss him.  And the world will be a bit dimmer without him in it.

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