You never know when an old memory will come to see you. Not repressed memories but those you just shuffle to the back of your mind and forget about. Today I was walking to the store and I saw a car. Not just any car, but I saw a 1987 Toyota Supra. It was blue and grey. It was just like one owned by a friend of mine in high school. Tommy Searcy was two years ahead of me, but do to the vagaries of small towns and private schools there was no class between us. We got to know each other fairly well. His parents owned a small store in the bad part of Springfield, TN. The year after I graduated they were found murdered in their home. I heard rumors that there was some involvement with drugs but it was never confirmed. A year after that my mother called and told me that Tommy’s body had been found on a back road in Robertson County. There were rumors of drugs in his death too. I can’t hear the song "you’re no good" without thinking of him.
Thinking of him got me to thinking about other people I knew who died unpleasantly. Andrew Stephens was a college friend of mine. He left school to go home and help his parents out. A short time later he was murdered. Sharon Davis was my high school principals daughter. She got involved with a bad guy and her body was found in a hotel room. Phil Aycock was another college acquaintance, but one who went bad. He was killed by the police after he robbed a store and stole a case of beer.
The most personal loss was Jason Robertson. He was a closer friend of my little brothers but I knew him well. He worked at a junkyard in Springfield, TN. A guy came in to try and return an engine that he didn’t buy there. When the guy was told to leave he pulled a gun and shot three people in the shop killing two. Jason was one of the two. I still have his picture on my refrigerator door. He was the only one who left a family behind a new bride and a baby. Whenever I hear "I like I, I love it" I think of him. Once last year I admit that I pulled the truck over to the side of the road and cried when the song played over the radio.
It is easy to look back and wish that I had spent more time with any of them. There are things I wish I had said to each one. There were times that I didn’t spend with them that I really could have. All I have of them now is memories. And those I wouldn’t trade for anything.