More than a legend

By Chris Slone - [email protected]

Life is a series of moments; opportunities to build relationships, explore unique friendships and create common bonds. Over the course of time, friends will change as often as the seasons — without any concrete explanation, other than “life got in the way.”

Keith Urban once wrote, “People come into your life for a moment then they’re gone. It makes no sense at all.”

However, during that time — the time when you’re forming that bond with someone else — are you leaving a lasting impression you would be proud of?

I was in a deep and probably somewhat demented conversation with some coworkers the other day about the possibility of writing my own eulogy. After all, I am a writer and the thought of my wife writing it frightens me beyond anything I could comprehend, at least at the time.

Now, taken for granted I wasn’t the only one open to writing my own eulogy, which was a scary thought in itself, I started pondering the whole eulogy process.

If you asked a friend or spouse to write something about you — and they were being 100 percent honest — what would they write? I was to scared to ask, hence the thought of updating my will to include my own eulogy.

Wednesday night, I received the disheartening call telling me Gene Bennett had passed away. I had gotten to know Gene over the last four years. I routinely visited him at his house to talk about baseball and occasionally snuck him a sausage biscuit when he was residing at the retirement home in Wheelersburg.

While our bond only last four years, his impressions on me will last the rest of my life.

I could create a list of people that would line up to speak on Gene’s behalf. He was one of a kind. Baseball legend? Absolutely. But I didn’t know that side of Gene. I knew the side that enjoyed sitting around, talking about local events, reminiscing about the past — I knew the Gene that kept asking me when I was going to write a local book.

That’s right. A baseball legend was more interested in pushing me to write a local book. He would often say, “I want the first copy. I’m your first customer.”

That’s the Gene Bennett that I knew. And while I am going to miss him terribly, I promise that I am going to write that book for him and I know that he will be the first one to read it.

By Chris Slone

[email protected]

Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.

Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.