Stories - Chapter 25

Buster Brown

Buster and I were classmates at Fletcher. We recently connected on Facebook and corresponded as below:

Buster Brown:
It's good to hear from you David! Can you believe we were treading the hallowed halls of D. U. F. 45 years ago? David, my favorite photo of you is on page 177 of the '65 Senator. You look ready to take on the world. Did it work out the way you thought it would these 45 years later? I took several different paths, travelled the world and accomplished a lot of things. I finally made it to the "Golden Years" with two annuities coming in and nothing to do except what my wife tells me to do!

It seems like only yesterday, Buster. I am still a Jax Bch lifeguard, so I hang out with some Fletcher students. I take night classes occasionally at Fletcher, and go to some football games. My life didn't work out anywhere near like I thought it would, although I'm not sure I ever had a plan. I kept waiting for a break, trying many different things and the break never really came. I have been somewhat successful in my endeavors and have been happily married since 1993, 1st marriage. I got into counselling in 1991 and corrected some of my self destructive behaviors. I am happier now than I have ever been, and have hope for the future, shortened as it may be. Writing my autobiography is helping me see where I've been and letting me reflect on the past, the present, and the future. Best to you. I remember you as a gentle soul.

Keep on the Path. I believe in Karma. If you give kindness and love you get it back. We all get a little lost along our path. Self examination is key to understanding your life and its meaning. I would love to sit down and talk to you. People our age have so very much wisdom to share. I lived on the edge for a while and did the wild things we all do when we think we will live forever. I saw the world. Got a few degrees and wrote a book. I have everything I would ever want. A good wife, land, pets, friends and wonderful memories. I can't complain. If you see Bill Longenecker tell him hello for me. Keep working on the book it wil cleanse your soul!

I run into Bill from time to time. He writes a good column for Shorelines in the Times Union about healthy beach living. I will say hi for you when I see him next. I am still a Jax Bch lifeguard and try to role model for and counsel the young lifeguards. I'm not sure how much good it does. I remember Mr. Kahoe, Mr. Bacot, and others who influenced me, probably more later in life, than earlier.

I used to live next door to Bob Wilson who was a JBLG back in the sixties. He remarried after Sarah passed on and he lives on Oakwood Drive in JB. Your mentoring is a good thing. If the kids listen. Of course they all think they know it all at that age just like we did. I tried to listen to my elders but I wanted to experience things for myself. Once I got my Masters degree in 1982 and I became a ship captain there was a lot I knew that I didn't know anything about but I dove into the books and taught myself. Now that I'm retired I feel I know a lot but I would rather find a cool new hobby than work. Life is fun now because I don't have to do anything I don't want to do. I learned the most from Coach Taylor, Coach Sutton and Mr. Beakley. My Dad still teaches me things in his 90's.

I started a non profit organization called imagineworldhealth and later a project called letsmoveahead. Both are online as .org's. As I tidy up other areas of my life, I plan to devote myself to these causes. That and surf as much as I can! Can I use some of your notes to me in my Bobby and I were tight for some time. He is active in the American Legion in Jax Bch. I see him occasionally. Rusty Kahoe's dad was a big influence on me. He taught me about auto mechanics and character. He was a founding member of the Masonic Lodge at the beach.
I am writing my autobiography as a continuing project at If you have any David stories or pictures, I will post them. It's been cold here for a while. I've been staying in a lot. The all Fletcher reunions have been fun the last couple of years. Linda and Jay Johnson are living in their house at Mayport. Best to you.

Sure, you can use anything I write to you in your works. I miss talking to Bob very much. He has a sense of humor like me and I enjoyed my years next door to Sarah and he. Bob is an excellent mechanic and that mustang he rebuilt is perfect. I miss Sarah too. She did not deserve to die so young. She was a joy to be around. We have lost a lot of our old friends and family since the 60' but as the French say, "Such is Life"! I just hope I can help people along the way and end up doing no harm to any of God's creatures. I'm thinking of writing a book about growing up at the Beach and how much we all learned from our mentors, teachers and coaches. Tentative title is "High tide at the Surf Maid Drive in"!

January 29, 2010 (Karen's birthday)




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