Cups.....

..... I'm not really sure who instigated that dinner meet-up in Knoxville when I first met Winston, but I suspect that it was me.... I feel sure that he must have left some funny comment to one of my posts that prompted me to fire off an email saying, "ha!... next time you are within a hundred miles of Knoxville, give me a yell and I'll buy you a beer somewhere!"..... as it turns out, I ended up buying him a few glasses of red wine instead....

.... it's funny..... I remember him standing up to greet my Wife as we arrived.... he introduced himself, shook her hand and gave a little bow, looked over at me and said, "wow!... I expected you to be OLDER!"...... I laughed, sat down, and said, "that's ok, Winston.... I expected you to be YOUNGER!".....

..... we sat out on the patio of a nice little restaurant just off Kingston Pike.... he had a steak and I had some sort of Alfredo/parmesan pasta with shrimp..... we talked about The Vols (he'd come to watch a game the next day), Acidman, Elisson, Jimbo, and the rest of the gang.... we talked about the annual Helen Blogmeet, blogging, writing, his wife's Southern Literary Journal, his life, my life..... he was perhaps the easiest person to 'talk to' that I have ever met.... he had an ease about him that was charming and convivial.....

.... we talked and talked and told stories as we ate and drank... he even re-told the "Styrofoam Cup" story to us after dinner once the cocktails arrived.....

.... I remember that when the night was coming to a close and we sat replete as the Sun went down, he looked at me and said, "you know, age really doesn't matter when it comes to blogging..... when you read what someone writes, you get a feel for them.... and something instinctive kicks in.... age, politics, religion, they really don't matter.... and you just know that if you ever met that person, you'd have a great time... life is life - and there are more things that we have in common than things that make us different...... thanks for making the trip, you guys, I've had a lovely time.." ....

..... that's how I will always remember Winston, I suppose..... telling stories and watching the sunset.... his eyes twinkling when he got to the best bit of a tale.... his gravely voice and salt & pepper hair... how he seemed to enjoy everything that surrounded him - from the filet on his plate to the autumn pre-game air.... he was the kind of man that it was a true pleasure to be around....

... Winston Rand, folks..... HE WAS A PRETTY GOOD GUY..... and he will definitely be missed.....

by Eric on July 01, 2008 | Bullshit (6) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging
Bullshit So Far

I wish I could have met him.

Bullshitted by Jim - PRS on July 1, 2008 08:31 AM

I regret not being able to join you that evening...now, more than ever.

"...the kind of man that it was a true pleasure to be around..."

A fine epitaph, one that I'd be perfectly happy to be honored with myself. But not any time soon.

Bullshitted by Elisson on July 1, 2008 10:52 AM

Winston sounds like a wonderful person. I'm sorry for your loss.

Bullshitted by Lou on July 1, 2008 11:21 AM

I knew him mostly from the comments he would leave you and from visiting his site a few times...I'm sorry I didn't get to know him better. He sounds like he was a helluva good guy. It was such a touching tribute you wrote.

Bullshitted by Erica on July 1, 2008 01:04 PM

He did, indeed, love life. Even more, I think, he enjoyed sharing what he loved in life.
I'm so glad I got to meet him.

Beautiful tribute, Eric.

Bullshitted by Jean on July 1, 2008 06:14 PM

Dang... There I am so sorry for your loss and for those that loved him, :(

Bullshitted by Richmond on July 1, 2008 10:07 PM