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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I've Never Been Much Good At Goodbye

I first met my friend Andy in Baltimore in 2007, where a handful of us met up before a game against the Orioles. I liked him on the spot.

So did Rakes.

Even though he's only 6, Rakes has this inner radar/BS detector that I've never seen in someone so young. He can instantly decide whether he thinks someone is real or if they are putting him on, from co-workers to people at church to some random kid he meets at the park.

He took to "Mr. Andy" from the get go.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about Andy. How the love of the Red Sox started a friendship between a rugged carpenter from Maine with worn callouses on his hands and an aversion to air conditioning and a southern boy who can't screw in a lightbulb and is all about climate control. Two men from two totally different parts of the country with two totally different backgrounds became friends thanks to the Internet and the Red Sox.

And a little boy named Rakes.

Believe me when I tell you, Rakes LOVED "Mr. Andy." Loved his long hair, big mustache and "funny voice." After each game with Andy that we saw Rakes would talk the whole way home about when he could see him again, when would he come stay with us and could he go and visit Andy sometime. Rakes never met anyone he didn't know but he's met a bunch he didn't like so this wasn't ordinary behavior from him; he genuinely loved Andy.

Andy died a week ago today at 7:38 a.m.

He was 61 years old.

I'm going to miss my friend. I'll miss talking to him and watching games with him and it's pretty hard to believe I won't see him again. But I'll be forever grateful I got the chance to get to know him and that Rakes did as well.Safe travels, Andy.

And thanks.

YOU CAN READ ANDY'S OBITUARY HERE. I THINK IT CAPTURES HIM PERFECTLY.

22 comments:

Tex said...

It does capture him perfectly....but if I were to use a picture to capture him...that one above does the trick nicely.

I'm still alittle stunned with the news. It makes this internet friendship thing...seem alittle more real.

:wave: Andy...we all will miss you!

Ben said...

Nice post--I know the old man had a real soft spot for you Tay-ed.

Runs and Beer,

Ben

Ted D said...

I know how you feel, Tex.

And Ben? The feeling was mutual.

Runs and beer sums Andy up perfectly.

Tree Newt said...

So sorry to hear it bro. I know he meant a lot to you and Rakes. Hate I never got a chance to catch a game with you guys.

Ted D said...

Me too, Matty. We lost one of the good ones.

Cyn said...

You did him proud, Ted.

Ted D said...

I don't know about that, Cyn.

I sure am going to miss him.

HorshamScouse said...

Well said, Ted. Dusty in Porirua today.

Jane said...

It was always real, my friend.

Podspeed to Andy. We all mourn him together.

jojo said...

well done, tay-ed...
xoxojojo

Matty said...

This is a great story. Baseball is more than a game. Especially when it forges a bond like this one.

He sounded like a genuine person.

Ted D said...

Thanks guys. John, Jane, and jojo; I think we need to leave an empty chair next year. And he was THE original, Matty. :)

Chrissy said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.

Ted D said...

Thank you, Chrissy.

Lee Block said...

Ted -- thanks for honoring Andy -- he will be missed.

Beth said...

Nicely said, Ted.

Nancy said...

Hygs.

That picture of Rakes and AB is perfection.

Stacy said...

Very nice tribute to what sounds like a great man.

If Rakes liked him that much, he's good in my book. :)

Ted D said...

Lee, it was my pleasure. Nance, my favorite photo of Andy and Rakes, hands down. Beth, I'm really glad you were able to meet him.

BB said...

Thanks Ted.

hayes said...

I was poking through those photos myself. Just so good -

Runs and beer.


xo

Ted D said...

It was my pleasure, Billy. Anything I can do you know how to find me.

And thanks, hayes.