Papa Down, long may you run
I’m not sure how to best measure a man or if I’m the person who has the right to put a ruler on a man given all of my own shortcomings, but I’m going to give it a shot here.
A man passed away today, a man I didn’t know that well but always enjoyed the few times we were in company together. Papa Down came from the truebluela community, one of the few father/son combinations on the board. Possibly the only father/son combination that I’m aware of. They were a bit of an odd pair with Bobby Down being the enthusiastic young man who was but a boy when he started commenting on truebluela and his father, the grizzled veteran who had seen more than most of us and sometimes let us know just how ignorant we were.
This may end up being more about Bobby Down than about Papa Down because I know more about Bobby. Papa was indeed a character, he looked like someone who was cast as a character actor for any bar shot. The patron that everyone knew, not just at that particular bar but at every bar in Simi Valley. Except Papa Down wasn’t a character actor, he was indeed that character. I know this to be true because I had an occasional drink with Papa Down and just the sound of his voice would bring people over to say hi to him, even if they had not seen him in years. The bartender, the patrons, and even the beer vendors. It kind of felt like you were having lunch with the Godfather of Simi Valley. That is how I remember him.
Was he a good man? I don’t know enough about him to say that for sure. What I do know is that he raised one of the most polite young men I’ve ever met, and if the saying is true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the cart, I would guess that Papa Down was indeed a good man with rough edges who probably had friends everywhere he went. His life may have been cut short today, but he left this world with a family who loved him, a multitude of friends, and the knowledge that he’ll be missed because of the life he led.
We should all be so lucky.
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