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From the Center 2-22-17

When I first became editor of the Headlight, the previous editor felt it was necessary to take me around to all the businesses and law enforcement offices to introduce me. I didn’t say anything, but just jumped in the car and went with her. Every single place we went in, before we were in the door good, we were greeted with “Well hey Holley!”

There was just one person that I had never met.

But after we shook hands, it felt as though I had known him all my life.

He was a gentle man and his voice instantly took me back to my childhood and reminded me of Bro. McCormick.

After the introduction, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Ok Holley, now if there is an accident or fire at 3 a.m., do you want me to call you or let you sleep?”

That let me know instantly that he was an open book. I just needed to decide if I wanted to read the book in the middle of the night, or wait until morning.

Over the course of the next three years, he proved to be one of the most helpful, informative, dependable and insightful people that I came in contact with.

He was thorough, and he was kind.

Most days, I never even had a chance to call him to ask questions. He was one step ahead, calling me first, offering details of an incident.

And if it was a big one, he would call and simply say, “you better get down here.”

He was one of those beloved people who made you feel like he was truly happy to see you each time you were around him.

I have no doubt that he died exactly the way he would have wanted, doing absolutely what he loved, inside one of his favorite places.

He was a protector. A watchdog for the community and a guardian for his fire family. I never once heard him raise his voice.

He made my job easy.

He will be sorely missed.

Bassfield Fire One is 10-7.