It's Over My Head Cam
Ironically the last time that I saw Cam Fyke was at the funeral of another schoolmate this past summer. We hugged and had a few quick laughs and today I am saying farewell. He was only 46 years young, the same age as my father when he passed away.
Cam and I shared a lot of laughs and we went to the same Elementary, Junior High and High Schools and College. He had an older brother who was my age but for whatever reason Cam and I clicked. He had the longest eyelashes in the world, he was the most Parent-Friendly guy that I ever hung out with, he politely laughed at every word that I said and he was totally laid back.
He never once gave me a moment's grief.
When another friend phoned to tell me the awful news I remembered three specific, moments in time that I spent with Cam.
The first is a foggy account of my decision to show up at his Parent's house late one summer evening wearing only a case of beer. After closing down a local watering hole and a refreshing swim in my Parent's pool, a guy nicknamed 'Dirty ' and I decided that it would be fun to go to Fykes and play Billiards. So after making a quick call to Cam we hopped in the car and drove the three blocks down familiar back lanes (it was the 70s) wearing only our birthday suits and runners (Dirty reminded me that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in bare feet..isn't it weird which particulars stick in your memory).
I know how gay this sounds (not that there's anything wrong with that) but believe me it was only the miracle of chemistry at work. CH3CH2OH + Testosterone = DUH!.
Upon arrival I rang the bell and Cam opened the door laughing his goofy laugh and mentioned that it was our good fortune that his parents were at the Lake. He welcomed us in and we had just started playing Billiards when another group of revelers waltzed into the house..huzzah! now we had enough people for a real Billiard tournament..
Cam and I actually played a lot of pool at the local watering hole on Saturdays. He was good at it. I was terrible...and I think thats why he liked playing with me.
Summers at The Lake of the Woods in Ontario were always fun back in the 70s and I remembered one beautiful summer night when Cam and I were putting around in the boat on our way to crash a HUGE party..it seems to me that the hosts might have been Bikers there for the annual Smoke and Fish Derby..it was somebody that we didn't know anyway.
When we finally reached the Bay where the Cottage was we slowly cruised towards the dock. We could see that there were tons of people (just silhouettes from where we were) and the music was very loud.
When we were still quite a considerable distance from the dock I heard a big splash and remarked that the fish were jumping. About a second later there was another big splash right beside the boat. Cam said that we should come back tomorrow and fish here. Then thwack! A beer bottle hit the boat. We started laughing at each other when we realised that some assholes on the dock were throwing empties at us. I guess you had to be there. Anyway we decided to find another party and off we went puttering around until the sun came up.
Cam flew a plane (how cool is that!) out to Brandon where I was working as a TV Producer. I was about to make a new series of commercials for the Keg Restaurant and I needed some help in casting local talent. Cam thought that would be fun so he flew in for the weekend as we desperately researched the local talent pool in search of young ladies with the right qualities.
Today I will see many old familiar faces and despite the sombre occasion we will talk about the good old days and bolster each other with levity.
Cam leaves behind four young lives who will look at this day from a completely different viewpoint...one that I had to painfully endure myself as a young man back in 1980.
I understand the grief that will be shared by his very special lady who my sister knows quite well, Cam's parents who were always so kind to me, his brother Terry, and all of the other relatives.
Cam, I can't see you but you are still inside me..somewhere... because I can still hear you laughing.
Hug a friend today, email someone that you haven't talked to for a while, smile at a stranger.