Missing Fuzzy

Seven years ago today, May 3, 2009, my best friend died. Fuzzy Thompson and I were roommates at Clemson. We were roommates after Clemson. After Sally and I were married, he ate more meals at our house than I can count. He was in our wedding. I spoke at his funeral.

Fuzzy spent Christmases with my family and went on vacation with us. We lived on the same side of town in Columbia, South Carolina, where his Orange Volkswagen Beetle with the “Fuzzy” license plate was ubiquitous. He threw at least three Big Parties annually—one during the Christmas season, one for the Super Bowl, and an end-of-school outdoor extravaganza known as the Porch Party. We had our last Porch Party after Fuzzy’s funeral. Actually, it was an important aspect of Fuzzy’s funeral.

I keep thinking I will write something longer, something funnier, something more substantial about Fuzzy sooner or later, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m not sure why.

I’ve missed him even in New Hampshire. Memories there, too. He and I took a trip to New England one year at the peak of the fall leaf season. Sally taught school and didn’t take time off for all the destinations I wanted to see. So Fuzzy and I traveled together. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the beauty of the colorful mountainsides, then we’d argue about directions—turn right or left?

Fuzzy would have enjoyed many of my New England experiences this winter—especially the fine dining. Of course, he would have complained endlessly about other things. That, too, was part of his charm.

We traveled lots of miles together, literally and figuratively. Fuzzy went with my family to England, Scotland, and Wales one summer. We stayed six weeks, driving from London to Yorkshire to the Isle of Mull in Scotland and back again. When I wasn’t getting on Fuzzy’s nerves, my daughters were. Once, we stopped at a small museum in Wales and Fuzzy didn’t come inside with us. When we got back to the car, we realized we had locked him in. Apparently you can do that in English vehicles.

Sally and I celebrated her 40th birthday in Paris. Fuzzy was, of course, with us.

Fuzzy spent Christmases at the Aldridge’s for over thirty years. As a bachelor, he felt the need to cut some of the apron strings from his mother in Manning, South Carolina, so he started coming to our home in Batesburg on Christmas Eve. He helped me assemble play kitchens and bicycles and a hundred other toys for Jenna and Julie.

Together, Fuzzy and I went to the Holy Land, to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and a whole bundle of Clemson football games. We went to a John D. MacDonald/Travis McGee conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We chaperoned teenagers at a Young Life Camp in Colorado. Different events had different configurations. Ted Godfrey, Marty Kearse, Fuzzy and I shared season tickets to Clemson football games for over thirty years. The Wrights, the Shepherds, the Snellings, and other regulars tailgated with us in Tiger Town. Larry Abernathy, Fuzzy, and I took a baseball trip to the Northeast, seeing games in Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Camden Yards.

Not enough experiences. Not enough memories. Fuzzy died too young—at age 60. I still miss him, even in New Hampshire.

Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Family, Football, Holiday, South Carolina, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Missing Fuzzy

  1. George Rossi

    What great memories about your dear friend.

    • chris Isgett

      All the Clemson stuff notwithstanding, Fuzzy was a great guy. I was lucky to join you at his porch party one spring. We visited with Buddy Pough, talked football, ate and laughed.

      You were blessed to have such a friend, as was he. Come to think of it, I’m lucky to count you as a friend too.

      It’s been my experience that time helps with grief, but, never erases the great memories of ones we loved.

      Hang in there.

      Chris

  2. Karen

    I remember Fuzzys name even if I don’t recall if I ever met Fuzzy. (I think I did) I know he was your very good, even best, friend and I know you must miss him terribly. I’ll think of you today and remember your forever friend. Big hugs to you from KY!

    • Fuzzy did visit us in Kentucky and stay with us, so you met him. He and I crawled around caves while he was there. He came to church with us.

  3. pamgaddy

    God blessed you “real good” with your special friend Fuzzy! I remember going to the Holy Land with you two in what seems like a lifetime ago! He was fun on that trip! You’ll enjoy more adventures when you see him again!

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Anne Walker

    Well said. I bought him his first Fuzzy license plate for his birthday when we were dating. He was a good man with a fabulous personality/quick wit and very intelligent. Since he and I dated for 10 years we spent a lot of time dancing and we could clear any dance floor we ever stepped on. I have many great memories of those 10 years we spent together. He treasured his friendship with you, Marion.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Kelly Belcher

    Nice to read about a wonderful person and remember him lovingly – I believe I too was recipient of his party-planning finesse. Fine words on behalf of your good friend. To Fuzzy.

  6. Randy Harrison

    MarionReally a good post today !! I did not get to spend a lot of time with Fuzzy, but sure did enjoy his company along with yours, Marty, and Ted’s at football games.You all took in this “Ga Fan” and made us feel right at home. You all even made me a Clemson fan !!Lots of folks miss Fuzzy, even ones that were not real close to him. He touched so many lives in many ways. Certainly he walked tall among his friends.  Randy Harrison spcaugustaga@yahoo.com 706.993.5089

  7. Anonymous

    May the good memories ease your grief.

  8. It sounds like an incredible friendship. With that many years of shared experiences, I’m sure it’s left a gap in your life. Did I know you knew Larry Abernathy? He’s another one gone too soon.

    • Larry and Fuzzy were my two best friends. They were both in our wedding. I was in Larry and Jo Ann’s wedding. I spoke at each of their funerals. I miss them both every day. Both gone too soon.

      • Agreed. Larry went to church with me and taught my Sunday School class when I was in high school. He was an incredible man and one of my early mentors.

  9. dboatwright@sc.rr.com

    So well written that, although I didn’t know Fuzzy, now I’m missing him too. I can almost see him.

    My sympathy for whenever it was he died.

    Dottie Boatwright

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