Getting closure from words I never expressed.
Even though Bernie passed through our lives much to quickly, he still managed to leave a huge impact on all of us. To say he was ‘a one of a kind’ would be a gross understatement. We knew him as having a great sense of humor, a true devotion to his friends, a tremendous love of life and a constant quest for adventure. No one would ever question the statement,”He’d give you the shirt of his back” because literally that had been the case many times. It was common knowledge that he helped so many people financially, providing a place to stay, or just sitting with you to lighten your burden.
I first met Bernie in 1948 when he entered first grade at the old St. Anne’s (prison) school behind the cemetery, on the bluff overlooking the Apple River.
Our small town kids bonded into tight friendships for over sixty years. Bernie was the nucleus of our group, holding the rest of us close to his center.
Returning home was never complete until we contacted Bernie. He was always accessible and always ready to boogie, as we use to say, when language had words with only one meaning.
Bernie was a wise business man, but that was alway put aside when he was with people he cared about, which was everyone. Being his friend assured you that no matter what, you had a friend always there for you.
He loved to travel and fish, but he never seems happier than when his friends were gathered together at the bar, at his cabin, in a boat, or on the road. You all will recall the many things he did and the special relationship you had with Bernie. The most outstanding thing about this man was, everyone of us thought we were his best friend, and it was true. What a tall yard stick to be measured against.
Asking Bernie if he had time to do this or do that, he’d always say, “What’s time to a hog”.
So Bernie, we bid farewell for now, until we meet again.