Years ago, my friend Gabe and I started a well-thought-out and carefully planned subterfuge campaign to undermine his wife, Sara. She is one of the dearest people in the world to me, but a great failing of hers at the time was the inability to understand the necessity of a DVR on their cable box to record television shows.
I really don’t remember when I met him, when I met them. I think it might have been at a party thrown by my neighbors at the time, because they were all close friends and I think he and his wife had just moved to Charlotte. I think that’s probably how we first connected.
Barrie Dunsmore died last Sunday—and he’s been my constant companion—rowing with me on the lake as the sun rises, walking around meadows and offering amusing peanut gallery perspectives on the news. It’s odd that when people die, they seem not gone but ever closer.
In his classic poem, “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost quotes his neighbor who says, “Good fences make good neighbors.” Well, that may have been true for those two, but my neighbor of several decades, the recently deceased John Sheehan, and I did not need a good fence to respect and enjoy our neighborliness.