Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Candle

Hubble Photo in the Public Domain
I have lost my beloved friend and mentor Buck Pennington.

He of the proper grammar and always knowing where the comma is supposed to go.

Buck never let me rest with the idea of what I had written, he was always on me to correct something. As he would often put it, "...ever the pedant..."

I cannot begin to tell you just how much I am going to miss that.

Buck followed my blog from day one, here's the first of his many comments:
Lex was my blog-father. I first contacted him back in 2004 simply to express my thanks thanks for what he was doing with his blog. One thing led to another and I started EIP in 2005 with his encouragement. The man was more than a blogger, more than a Nasal Radiator, he was bigger than life in more ways than one. We do miss him.
Which is a roundabout way of sayin' "Welcome to the club," Sarge. Keep on keepin' on!
Buck too, was larger than life.

If you have the inclination, head on over to his place, pay your respects and, if you have the time, read some of his other posts. It's well worth the trip and the effort.

Buck was fond of the phrase, "the Deity at hand," as a Buddhist he probably believed the following:
One fundamental belief of Buddhism is often referred to as reincarnation -- the concept that people are reborn after dying. In fact, most individuals go through many cycles of birth, living, death and rebirth. A practicing Buddhist differentiates between the concepts of rebirth and reincarnation. In reincarnation, the individual may recur repeatedly. In rebirth, a person does not necessarily return to Earth as the same entity ever again. He compares it to a leaf growing on a tree. When the withering leaf falls off, a new leaf will eventually replace it. It is similar to the old leaf, but it is not identical to the original leaf.
After many such cycles, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain Nirvana. This is a state of liberation and freedom from suffering. (S)
As a Christian, my beliefs differ somewhat. But having lived in many places and known many people different from me, I can only say with certainty that we cannot begin to understand our Universe and all that occurs therein. As The Bard said,
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
All I know for certain at this time, is that I have lost a dear friend and brother-in-arms. While I mourn his loss and my heart goes out to his family, I celebrate his life and I thank my God that I knew such a man.

I like to think that Buck has attained Nirvana, what we Christians call Heaven. I cannot believe for one instant that a man such as Buck would be turned away. He brought joy and wisdom to many.

To quote the Buddha,
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, 
and the life of the candle will not be shortened. 
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Buck was a candle.

Vaya con Dios, mi amigo!

We shall meet again, in the hereafter.

Tell Lex we say hi.

I love you Buck. I miss you.


  1. He will be horribly missed in my life as well. My blog-father, along with Lex, I was in great company. Shutting down my own blog was a heartwrenching decision mostly because of Buck; I didn't want to disappoint him. He was a cranky fossil and I loved him as I do my dearest friends. Like you Sarge - there is another hole in my life that will never be filled. My heart goes out to his family.

  2. It hurts.
    Now Buck.
    Two of that small bunch who helped me get started in this world we share.
    My Dad knew that Cavaliers Poem, Fiddler's Green. drink again......together
    At Fiddler's Green.

  3. Beautiful post. He will be missed. His blog was on my "must-read " list.

  4. "I thought I was prepared for this..." I don't think we're ever really prepared for the loss of family, friends and comrades even when we know it's coming. I'm so sorry to hear that Buck is gone and the world is diminished by his loss. You and his family will be in my prayers.

  5. I think I may finally know the difference between sadness and sorrow.
    Now if I could only do something about it and the feeling that goes with it.

  6. You know when you're a young kid and you think your grandparents and parents are going to be there forever?
    Same with Buck, Someday, I knew in the back of my mind, but not today or this year...makes the saying of my grandparents generation of "here today, gone tomorrow" really ring true..

  7. Very nice tribute to Buck. I don't remember how I came upon his blog, or yours for that matter, but once I read it for the first time I spent many hours going back to the beginning. It gave me much enjoyment. We shared a love of good cigars and cigar art and pretty much the same taste in music. I would have liked to stop by and see him and drop off a care package of my home brew and favorite cigars for him and also to berate him for denigrating my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. Maybe in the next life. He will be missed.

    1. Yes, he will be missed.

      Heh. Him and his Red Wings.

  8. Great man, your loss is shared by many readers. I'm glad his sons were able to arrive in time to share his last hours. Seems like he lived a full life and every bit of it was packed with Buck, could be worse.

    1. It was good that his sons got to spend that last bit of time with him.

      Buck had a full life, I'm sure he wanted more. But don't we all...

  9. Concur with all, it's a truly sad loss. He WILL be missed.

  10. Extremely well said, Sarge. There's a part of me that now hurts every time I sit down at the computer.

    1. And, reading through the other comments here, I now recall something I'll be denied - some fun banter with Buck concerning his Wings and my Bruins, should they meet in the playoffs...

    2. Wings v Bruins, yup. I'll miss Buck's hockey posts a lot.

  11. Another well written requiem for our friend!

    Buck never nailed on me for my writing, I think he knew that I had never received any education on such things and let me have my run-on sentences in peace. Commas go wherever they land, too.

    Let me know via back channels, your twenty. Perhaps I can make a road trip for a Navy Liberty evening in which we can remember the Buck properly. richbo2 at yahoo dot com .

    Barco Sin Vela II

    1. Expect an e-mail in the next day or so D...

      Oops, almost did a "Buck" there didn't I?


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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