*To Bub Sullivan from Steve Bopp*
I just can't get used to this, yet another of my oldest friends has passed away. ¬†I have known Bub since we moved to Wheatland in 1959. ¬†I remember him coming into Big Jim's (his father) barbershop where I would get my weekly haircut. Bub had perfect hair, a flat-top with sides, a style I soon achieved. ¬†We talked a little; Bub was always going somewhere. ¬†When I went to Jack'n'Rubies to learn to play pool and challenge the pin ball machines, Bub was usually there to help me. ¬†He was one of the best players around and I envied his skill. ¬†When Big Jim and Linda bought the pool hall, I spent more time with Bub and even was allowed in the 'back' room where they lived. ¬†I learned a very special lesson from Bub (and his posse). ¬†In school one day, I tattled on the guys who wrote something about the teacher on the chalkboard. ¬†Well, Bub, Ron Coty and Tommy Dobbins paid me in full as I ran home everyday and had paper clips shot at me for what seemed like a month. ¬†I never 'snitched' again!
I remember how simple Wheatland life was in those days as we played football at half-time of the high school game. ¬†We followed the railroad tracks to Bear River throwing rocks at the telephone poles. ¬†We surveyed Dry Creek from Bobby Sohrakoff's house to John Akins at Jasper Lane. ¬†At night we dreamed under the stars and envied the 'big guys' like Rich Peardon and Beaver Swanson. ¬†On Friday nights, we would break into 'Bees Cafe' (Tommy was with us of course) to get money to buy cokes and peanuts at Bills Place.
Bub was a 'cowboy' too. ¬†I remember all the guys challenging each other to ride the bucking broncos at the local rodeo; Bub did! Even turned into a pretty good 'cowboy' I'm told. I remember when Big Jim bought the competition orange 63 1/2 Mustang; Bub was the guy! ¬†We all waited in line to ride in Bubs new car.,,, In 66 Bub got a small place by the elementary school and we all practiced being hippies.
I got much closer to Bub as we turned 16 and 'cars' were (almost) the most important things in our lives. ¬†We shared the loss of some friends during those racing days on old Beale Road. ¬†It was devastating but not as much when just a few years after we all got out of high school, we lost Ron Coty, Tommy Dobbins, Dickie Sims, Barry Barnes, Neil Weeks. ¬†Every time I went back to Wheatland, it seemed we lost another friend and reminisced about how lucky our own lives had been. ¬†Then we got older and saw Sammy Cope, David Farmer, Sharon French, Jack Sipple, John Palmer, John and Bobbie Sohrakoff. ¬†We talked about Tommy Eddings, Neil Carter, Pat Thompson and all the guys that we'd grown up with. Where are they now?!
The more I think of Bub, I realize how little I really know about him. ¬†Bub wasn't a loner, more of a chameleon that could easily assimilate into any group. ¬†He knew all the older Wheatland generation interacting with the cowboys and farmers, as well as the younger groups of hippies, surfers, greasers, JD's and of course the 'car guys'. Bub was respected by us all.
I didn't know Bub's first wife, but on one trip back, he introduced me to his new wife, Liz. ¬†They were obviously very happy and their life together was testament to their mutual love and admiration. ¬†My wife Rita and I were lucky to have stayed with them a time or two, and on one visit Bobby Kearney and I enjoyed their hospitality for a few days. ¬†Yet another time, Rick Pooler and I invited a bunch of high school friends (Class of 66) to their house for a pre-reunion. Bub and Liz were always gracious and welcomed us all.
I'm sorry that I cannot be there to share in Bub's Celebration of Life, but my heart is.
Liz, Corky, Debbie and PJ and the many extended family members and friends: ¬† RITA AND I SHARE THE PAIN OF YOUR LOSS. ¬†BUB WILL LIVE ON IN OUR HEARTS FOREVER.
BUB: wherever Heaven's Jasper Lane is, say hi to all the 'Wheaties' that went before us