It started as two men having a friendly chat at a neighborhood bar, but police say within seconds one of them was dead.I knew Terry Baird. We used to live in the same town. He was a Realtor, and the business turned south. He was able to land himself another job, in the same general line of work, and ended up moving.
We were both huge Big XII football fans, but for opposite teams. We spent many a time generally ribbing each other and joshing about whose team was better, and was that a clean hit or not.
We also talked about more serious things. He had a son (one of three) that had seen some rough times. The son was straightening things out, and Terry was there to give him a shoulder, a hand, a place to stay. Life was getting better.
He bought me beers, I bought him beers. We shared appetizers and arguments. We always walked away friends at the end of an evening. I always looked forward to seeing him when our paths next crossed.
It was a bit of a sad day when he moved away, because that meant I wouldn't see him as often. I enjoyed spending time with him.
Even though I've moved 1,000 miles away, I still remember Terry. I remember his raspy voice, his joy at going to Austin to see a football game, his excitement at the latest big deal he'd landed. I remember him agonizing over his son, and wanting to provide as best he could. I remember him opining about politics, and even sometimes agreeing with him.
In all, I remember enjoying his company, even if we did occasionally curse one another. After all, what are friends for?
All I know is that today I am saddened, and disgusted, and frustrated.
I hadn't thought of Terry in 7 or 8 months, to be honest. Well, maybe once or twice as I thought "The next time I'm in town I'll need to swing by and see if he's there." That won't happen again. At least, I should say, it won't happen with him on his stool and me on mine. I guess I'll always know now where I can swing by and see him.
I read a bunch of the local articles today about this, and I scrolled through the comments. Most everything agrees that it was "senseless". They weren't arguing, they were just talking. One commenter opined that it was over a game of pool or a pool table. Another claimed that he knew the suspect, and that he was mentally unstable and had been in and out of facilities. I finally had to stop reading, because I realized that IT. DIDN'T. MATTER!!!!
A good man is dead, for no good reason. The world is a lesser place because of it.
I pray for Terry's family and friends. I pray that God will help them understand, as best one can a violent and undeserved end, and most of all help them cope.
Terry Baird - We argued, we disagreed, we laughed and cried and made fun. While we might not have been friends, we were acquaintances, and I will miss you.
Hook 'em Horns!