Often times, in the early spring or late fall, when I'm sitting on the south side in the warm sun, alone with my thoughts, I remember my friend who passed away a few years ago. His name was Dick Widdison.
I first met Dick in the fall of 1938 when we started first grade together at the old Hooper school. Dick was a lanky, good-natured kid and we hit it off from the start. We spent a decade there, not because we were held back, but because it was a ten-year school then. It has since been bulldozed, but I can still see every brick. I guess I could say some of my happier memories happened there. We had wonderful teachers there; most of them home-town ladies. To add a little color, we had lots of pretty girls in our class.
In later years, Dick and I often talked about our school sports teams. We were Weber County champs in both basketball and baseball in 1948. Dick threw a deceptive curve ball.
Dick was a gifted athlete, he could cowboy with the best. I remember one day at the Hooper Tomato Days rodeo, Dick and his buddy, Paul Knight from Plain city's team, roped a steer in 6.5 seconds. Dick was well into his 60s and Paul even older. I hope they are still at it somewhere.
Some years ago, a nasty bull escaped from the stockyards in Ogden and made his way onto the 24th Street viaduct. Dick was part-owner of the Weber livestock auction at that time and this was a bull brought there for sale. The bull was creating havoc on the viaduct until Dick appeared riding a stout horse. He roped the bull and guided him back. Problem solved.
I have more stories I could tell about Dick, but I am limited in word count.
I hope I'm good enough to go to the same place where Dick is someday. If and when I get there, I'll be looking for the tall guy wearing a black hat.
Until then, Dick, may God's blessings be upon you.