I have two really good friends on my mind today . . . Charlie Williams and Jerry Scott. They are both older than me . . . Charlie is 85 and Jerry is 72. Both of them are struggling with life this week.
. . . Charlie did something goofy and somehow managed to drive his boat into the bait house at Palm Harbor Marina (I am still scratching my head over how he did that). He was in the trauma hospital in Corpus Christi; now he’s at Gulf Point Nursing Home for a couple of weeks; and he is really banged up. His situation is a source of concern and intense prayer for me.
. . . Jerry is a cancer survivor (and along with that he has worked through several cardiac issues such as by-passes). He recently learned that the cancer is back, and he is in Fort Worth getting treatment this week. His situation is also a source of concern and intense prayer for me.
Charlie and Jerry are both in my Sunday school class. They are both important members of the ministry team that travels to Charlie’s Place on Saturday nights. Charlie and Jerry have lived completely different lives. Charlie became a committed Christian as a young man and has enjoyed a deep walk with God for 60 years. Charlie and his story were a blog herein a couple of years back. Jerry, on the other hand, lived a pretty rough life. He had a couple of troubled marriages, battled with alcoholism, and spent years as a fishing guide (he was recognized as one of the best on the Texas coast). Jerry was also a serious golfer and always ready to gamble on his golf game. Jerry actually made his way to Reno and lived and gambled there for a number of years. Jerry in recent years has gotten things settled with the Lord and now lives a wonderful life. In fact, he has a deep, sustaining, and abiding faith. When Charlie told me Jerry’s cancer was back; it broke my heart; so, I called him. During the conversation, I attempted to offer him some comfort and I wept. Jerry said, “You big sissy, knock that off! Jesus knows about this and if it is okay with him, then it has to be okay with us, too!”
Charlie and Jerry have been dear friends for almost 50 years. Charlie was a successful business man in Dallas who flew to the coast in his own plane probably 45 weeks each year to fish for a day or two. He kept an RV here to use on his visits. When he was here, he would see Jerry at the Marina and would holler out to him, “Hey, I have your breakfast ready.” Jerry would leave his clients of the day on the dock, run over and enjoy a quick breakfast with his old friend . . . while he shared a few fishing tips, and would then head out for the day with his party. That evening, Charlie would treat Jerry to dinner and they would catch up. Charlie always had a good influence on Jerry and made him think.
When Jerry returned back from Reno to the Coast, he and Charlie hooked back up. But things had changed for both of them. Charlie had experience a serious reversal of fortune, had lost his wife, had given his fine home in the Dallas area to his daughter, and had moved to the coast full time. When Jerry arrived back home, Charlie was living on a lot owned by Jerry in a rundown, back-street neighborhood. Charlie had managed to come up with a very small, really old and beat up bumper pull trailer (maybe 22’ in length). Charlie was living there and happy as a clam. When Jerry arrived, Charlie helped him locate a small trailer, and then conned our pal, Roger Horan, to pull it to the lot and park it there (Roger had already built Charlie a small storage building). Charlie and Jerry became next-door neighbors, and began living out the movie of Grumpy Old Men.
Charlie had a boat and they fished every day. They were both older, a bit slower, neither had any money, Charlie had a girlfriend, Deva, and when Charlie wasn’t with Deva, he was with Jerry.
Charlie and Jerry loved each other like brothers, but they fussed and squabbled over everything . . . and anything! They fussed about where they would eat, what they would eat, where they would fish, what they would use for bait, who would drive the boat, the proper method of setting the anchor . . . what to take for lunch, if they should even take a lunch, when to stop and eat the lunch . . . anything and everything. They laughed, hooted, hollered, and had more fun than a barrel of monkeys (just like the men in the picture above). You could hear them across the bay carrying on . . . and they forever settled the age-old debate about if you really needed to be quiet to fish. They were loud and rowdy and those dudes caught the redfish, and a lot of ‘em, too!
I love both of these guys . . . and I enjoy both of them. Sandy and I had them here for Thanksgiving lunch and to watch the Cowboy’s, and we thoroughly enjoyed them. I don’t know what the immediate future holds for them, but I am confident they both are ready for whatever is ahead, and that they both have a mansion in their long-term future.
I have no friends who love me more than do these good men. They have each always been ready to do anything they could to help me, and I sincerely appreciate them and their friendship. I am praying for you guys! Thanks for everything . . . you are an inspiration!