Friday, February 22, 2013
Our Friend Lloyd
People on Facebook saw that I asked for good vibes for my friend Lloyd, who had been involved in a horrible car accident Wednesday morning. Well, I got word a few hours ago that he succumbed to his injuries.
We'd actually thought he'd died the afternoon of the wreck. Social media is a powerful tool for communication, including information that isn't entirely accurate. So after some tears we were relieved to find that, for the moment anyway, he was still with us and everybody was doing all they could to help him.
Yesterday I had this exchange with my son:
Sam crashing trains, suddenly asks, "where Yoyd go?" Lloyd's in the hospital. "Why?" Car crash. "Other guys helping him?" Yes. "Oh, good."
We'd consciously not said much around him, but apparently did enough because since then, Sam's been concerned about Yoyd, and today he was pretending that cars were hitting him and hurting his head. He has always loved crashing cars and trains and whatever, but this is a new development, having himself involved. Guess kids pick up a lot more than we give them credit for.
Yoyd was Sam's special buddy. We would go up to Enosburg every few weeks to have lunch with him at the Kit Kat Diner. Been doing that since 2010, shortly after the election. That's when I first met Lloyd, running as an Independent in my quixotic quest for a VT House seat.
Even though I was an outsider--not much of a political threat, but still--Lloyd was one of the first Democrats to welcome me when I crashed their events. He treated me like a colleague, and is one of the biggest reasons I decided I could join the party and not compromise my principles.
To the right, you'll see him in his true element. Wearing his Franklin County Democrats t-shirt, he worked the new HQ last fall, chatting with our (now) State Auditor, and incumbent and re-elected Secretary of State, amongst other party and government officials. Lloyd was our committee's Secretary and State Committeeman (yes, that is the title), and had held many other positions, including county Chair. A wealth of institutional knowledge in that noggin.
And an unexhaustible amount of love and caring in that soul. A man dedicated to his community, serving as a Selectman (again, yes, that's the title) and Moderator for his town of Enosburgh, working at the food shelf, and always going out of his way for his fellow veterans.
In fact, he was on his way down to Montepelier when his car collided with another vehicle in Sheldon. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns was holding its Local Government Day, wherein municipal and county officials get updates on pending state legislation and whatnot. He'd asked a couple weeks before if I'd want to go with him--when going to state committee meetings, we would meet in St Albans and I would drive from there--but I teach on Wednesdays so had to beg off. We hadn't seen each other since January, so that was a disappointment, but of course there would be other opportunities.
Our last email exchange (he preferred talking on the phone, but knew I don't so much) was about our family's plans to go up to Enosburgh in the next two weeks. Ericka manages some property up there and had suggested we all get together for lunch when she had a meeting. His final response, "keep me posted, bro."
I don't exactly remember how it started. I think I'd written something like, "rock on, bro," in a message and it just sorta became our thing. Every voicemail from Lloyd started, "hey brother, it's yer old bro..."
Gonna miss that terribly.
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I'm so sorry to hear that your friend died. He sounds like a very dedicated, principled and inspirational man.
Posted by: mnkid | Feb 23, 2013 9:58:04 AM
Oh, I'm so sorry your nice friend didn't make it. You wrote a very nice tribute.
Posted by: Nancy in Detroit | Feb 23, 2013 12:32:03 PM
many condolences; may he live in your memory.
Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki | Feb 23, 2013 9:47:58 PM
My thoughts are with you, ntodd, and with Ericka and Sam. And as UUs like me are not as gifted at finding the words for occasions such as Lloyd's passing, I'll borrow what I've heard Friends say: I hold him in the Light.
Posted by: Steve Bates | Feb 26, 2013 2:33:23 AM