Friday, November 23, 2012

The Walrus Guy

Pirate? and I met in the seventh grade. We had both lived in the same small town for several years, and both of our families were pretty active in the community. We crossed paths quite a few times before we actually met and became friends. The summer after seventh grade, we discovered that her parents regularly attended the weekly community band concerts in the park. My parents played tuba and flute in the band. These were outdoor concerts where families usually brought picnics and sat on blankets while listening to the band, and having my best friend there was awesome.

With his massive fluffy white handlebar mustache, The Walrus Guy was a fixture at community events. He did have a real name and was just some retired person as far as I am aware, but he was a winning combination of highly-involved and incredibly recognizable. This meant that you were guaranteed to spot him at every fair, festival, and event in town.

The Greek Festival, the Celtic Festival, the Fourth of July Fireworks, the Community Rummage Sale, the Christmas Parade, the Fourth of July Fireworks...he was even at Tallships presentation at the harbor.

I'm sure that plenty of people at these events knew The Walrus Guy personally, but I never asked them. As a kid you don't generally admit to adults that you go around referring to an upstanding member of the community as The Walrus Guy. He died when we were in college, there was a huge article in the newspaper listing the many clubs and groups he was involved in. Guy had a lot of hobbies. No mention of his close resemblance to any pinniped species, though.

Rest in peace, Walrus Guy. Someday I hope to be as notorious among the local children as you were.

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