Mood: hug me
Topic: "The Blue Dog"(11)
Jerry Delano Taylor, aged 82, passed away on Thursday. Frodo and Sam visited him for the last time on the Monday before, when informed that he felt coming soon was very important. His daughter confirmed the diagnosis and told Frodo that he would get a closing meeting with his oncologist on Friday, after Frodo's visit. He didn't make it that long.
Jerry was born in Goldsboto, North Carolina and as his middle name indicated, into a Democratic household. The world changed significantly after the Korean War that raged incessantly when Jerry reached his 20th year. Social and racial change was so pronounced that customary political affiliations of a century or longer came totally unglued. Jerry was not unaffected, but he was also a sensitive and wise young man. He stayed as close to the politics of his birth as he could rationally manage. He voted for Democrats when possible, but not so frequent as in the past, or absent resentment for apparently unrequited justice.
Jerry was no longer a "Yellow Dog."
Jerry had a sense of humor that crossed every imaginable red line, but was accepted by everyone around him. He was not afraid to speak his mind, or make jokes, at anyone's expense. Frodo was in the room when a prominent individual introduced himself as a "barrister." Jerry paused then offered the comment to the entire room that he truly regretted that the gentleman did not have a daddy. Jerry endeared himself to Frodo at that very moment some 46 years ago.
They often argued, especially since Frodo had no interest in stepping down from the moral highground. Jerry undid Frodo's arrogance with grace, aplomb, and the wit of the rapier. They never got angry with one another, and they respected each other at work, Over the years they battled Orcs, often from faraway locations, but they never lost touch. Five minutes after an absence of years would sound as if they'd been drinking beer, telling jokes, and complaining about "Black History Month" from opposite sides on a daily basis.
Jerry always made Frodo laugh, and he charmed Sam with the rogue-like implication of something extra-marital. Losing our friend has taken laughter out of the life of the Hobbit. He was a good man, who loved dogs nearly as much as Frodo, and together they shared good times and true friendship. Frodo spoke of his friend before a small congregation in Fayetteville, Georgia. As he walked away Frodo noted that there were soldiers, both blue and grey, at rest outside. TAPS escorted this sailor home. A pity it is, dear reader, that you did not know such a man. Now, at least, you know his name.