My friend Bobby Garcia was killed last week. Hit by a train. His funeral was today and I went.
I should say that most of Bakersfield went. St. Francis was filled to standing room only.
It says a lot about a man when his passing fills a church the size of St. Francis. Bobby was quite a man.
We weren't close friends. I inherited Bobby when I began dating "The Teacher." Bobby was her ex. It became apparent from day one that if Denise was going to be in my life Bobby was too.
And not in that typical crappy ex boyfriend way. Bobby became my friend. It's just the way he was.
I would get phone calls from Bobby. Not because he wanted to talk to Denise, but because he was listening to the radio and thought something I'd said was funny. Or because he had a question about a concert. Bobby loved rock & roll and he thought it was great that his ex was now with a DJ from the classic rock station. I'm sure the idea I could get him concert tickets crossed his mind more than once or twice.
Most often when I got a phone call from Bobby, it was just because.
I'd ask him, "Hey, do you wanna talk to Denise?" He tell me, "No man, I called you!"
If we needed a truck to move something, Bobby's pick up would appear. No strings.
Bobby had some troubles in his life. Who doesn't. But the phone calls became fewer and then they stopped.
But in the past couple of months he'd started texting The Teacher more and more. Not the kind of texts that would worry me. It was good stuff. Lifelong friends helping friends stuff.
A friend coming out of a fog stuff.
And then, last week, as he walked home (Bobby walked with a cane) he got hung up on the tracks and was hit by a train.
My first thought upon hearing the news was sadness. As I shook my head, my next thought was, "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby."
We weren't close friends. Not by any stretch. But Bobby Garcia was my friend. Just like he was to thousands of other people here in town. A good friend to have.
By the way, Bobby Garcia's passion was Baseball. His team, The Angels.
Wonder how they're gonna do this season? I wouldn't bet against them.
Not this year. I think they have an "in."