Gordon and I didn't start out on the best foot. The girls had had our maturation program and he wanted to see, or take, all the pamphlets we had gotten. NO WAY! Are you kidding! I was embarrassed enough let alone have a guy get a hold of them. Anyway, he was playfully trying to get them when I blurted out, "Your mom wears army boots!" Nobody said anything about Shirel, as she was affectionately called years later. So Gordie did what any good son would do. He pushed me down. I was crying when I got home and before I knew it, my doorbell rang. There was Gordon with his mom. He had come, under strong encouragement of being able to keep living, to apologize. My mom invited them in for cookies. Neither one of us wanted one but mom and Shirley had a grand time visiting.
That was the beginning of a great friendship. We were in the same ward growing up. I was the Laurel Pres. and Gordon was the Priest quorum Pres. He was also the pres of the madrigals and I was the secretary. We spent lots of time together. Gordon had everything going for him. He was good looking, had a beautiful tenor voice, a great athlete, and very smart. I can still hear him sing, Some Children See Him.., Hodie Christus, What Cheer, and many others. He loved to sing.
It was a beautiful summer day. We had just graduated high school. I remember that day cause I had run 1 mile for the very first time. I got a phone call saying that Gordon had been in an accident. To make a long story short, it was a water skiing accident. Because of what had happened, Gordie had to have his arm amputated from just below the shoulder.
Gordon loved being the center of attention and everyone loved having him maintain that spot. He also had a great sense of humor and with one arm being gone, he took full advantage. Here are 3 stories I remember: He went to buy some ski gloves. He told the sales clerk that he should only have to pay for one. She replied that she was sorry as they were only sold in pairs. He said, "As you can see, I don't have a PAIR of hands!"..He then started laughing and bought the gloves. He and some friends went to see the movie Jaws. There is a part where some shark-bitten arm comes floating through somewhere. Gordon stands up in the theatre and yells, "There it is!" His friends were hysterically laughing! This last story, and I think my favorite.. He checked into a hotel that had a round swimming pool. He told the front desk, "Finally! A pool I can swim laps in!"
Gordon served an honorable mission in New York. He attended law school and was hired by one of the most prestigious law firms in Utah at that time. He was known as being one of the best litigators around. No one wanted to go up against Gordon in the courtroom. But the pain from the accident got him hooked to pain pills. Gordon was able to conquer his addiction to pills but was not able to quit the drinking.
The last time I saw Gordon was in the Shopko parking lot. He gave me one of his great big one-armed hugs that everyone loved! I don't think he was even 40 when his body just couldn't take the wear and tear it had received during the years.
I am happy that Gordon is at peace in the arms of a loving, understanding, all-knowing Father. Every now and again, I just really miss my friend.