Everyone has a neighbor, teacher, store clerk, or even newspaper boy that they forever cherish in memory. There are three specific people that I will always remember: Mr. Bostick(my junior high principal),
Sierra Brown(my best friend), and Alex Eleby Sr.(my grandfather).
As junior high principal, Mr. Bostick was always the
class clown. He looked a lot like Steve Martin. He had completely white hair but dark eyebrows, which we never quite understood. Bostick was a middle-aged man and stood about six feet tall. This was the one principal’s office no one minded being called to, and I do not believe anyone ever saw him upset, angry, or even with his voice raised. When I think back to junior high I can visualize him walking up and down the halls with his hands stuffed in his pockets smiling like Ronald McDonald. He had the heart of a Care Bear, and because of that, never gave students “pops” or a hard time. Mr. Bostick was a big comedian; he was constantly saying something sarcastic or making wise cracks. At lunchtime beware, because I have never seen this man go get his own lunch. He would distract students with one of his jokes and when they are laughing too hard to watch; he would snatch a couple of fries from their tray. Another way he would sneak your fries away was by tapping you on the shoulder; then, when you turn around he would reach over you just that quick and take a few. He often promised to pay you back, but he never did. Mr. Bostick will forever be in a “fry debt” and in my memories of Corrigan-Camden Junior High School.
While attending Corrigan-Camden Junior High I met my best friend to the end, Sierra Brown. Sierra has always been very ambitious and there for me whether I wanted her to or not. She was the tallest of the class; that is, until all the guys hit their growth spurt. In seventh grade she was five foot eight inches tall with the longest legs I had ever seen. When we joked about her height she would always say, “I love my height because I’m going to be a model.” Sierra always wanted to be a model, among several other things. A lot of times you could spot her practicing her catwalk. That was one hilarious sigh to see! She was highly intelligent, always on the A honor roll and in the gifted and talented list most of the time-the only black American on either list. She always wanted to be a doctor; specifically an oncologist, if her modeling, acting, or singing career did not work out. Therefore, she put studying and homework before hanging out with friends. Unless, of course, her best friend, me, was going through a teenage crisis and needed her help. Sierra can be described as “Mother Hen”; she always felt as if she was responsible for me. Sierra to me is so much more than a friend. She is more like a sister. She has been my human diary for almost ten years now. I could always tell her anything and know without a doubt that no one else would ever know with my permission. When my fiancé asked who was going to be my maid of honor, without hesitation I said, “Sierra René Brown.”
My grandfather, Alex Eleby Sr., (Papa) will not be at my big day. He peacefully passed away August 5, 2006, but will always be remembered and honored in family. When I was younger, around seven or so, my grandpa was the tallest man alive in my eyes. Not only figuratively, I mean literally. He looked as if he could grab a star out of the sky and hand it to me. Alex Eleby Sr. was born July 9, 1917 and lived to see his 89th birthday. He had 21 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and so much more. He was very healthy for his age. He still drove his old station wagon all around and wasn’t on any kind of medications. I believe it was because he was an outdoorsman and ate extremely healthy and in moderation. He was always seen with his tobacco pipe and old wooden cane. Way back before any of the grand kids could even imagine, he hunted a lot. He had nine shotguns and one pistol that he kept in the car. There was always this high level of respect for my grandfather. He kept his guns in the house and loaded and it has always been an understood rule to never touch his guns; whether you knew they were loaded or not without even been told. He was a great judge of character. He could talk to a person for 30 minutes and tell you if he was straight or not, and Grandpa was always correct. My grandpa was also the most dependable person you will never meet. One time he picked me up from school and I told him before hand that I got out at four o’ clock and he was outside waiting patiently at three thirty. Also one morning my little brother and I missed the bus and we were crying because we knew we would get in trouble when my mom got home. Then we thought to call papa and he came right on and took us to school and wasn’t angry or even curious about how or why we missed the bus. All 21 grandkids could tell you amazing stories of things we learned from our grandfather; from shooting a gun and fishing to making a bed, but there isn’t enough time or paper in the world. My grandfather was a parent, teacher, and best friend all in one small and package; that is why he will always be loved, respected, remembered, and known for generations to come.
Everyone should take time and think to themselves about the important people in his life. Then the next time you see him tell him that he matters and you care about him. I am sure it will brighten his day.