As I sit here and reminisce about the eighteen years I have spent here in Bayview, something came home to me with a thud. I had just finished talking to a friend of all of those eighteen years, Larry Justus.
When I first arrived here, I was, like most outsiders, treated somewhat roughly by the long time residents. The question often arose, "So how long have you lived here?" Or, "where you from, anyway?" Back then, then the population was very stable. Many families could count several generations of residency in and around Bayview, Athol and even little enclaves nearby that don't exist anymore.
Several years after settling here in Bayview I had the opportunity to write an area column on people, places and events of the past for the Idaho edition of the Spokesman-Review. I learned more about my neighbors, their families, and the early days of this quaint unincorporated town.
I gained from this, a great appreciation for those who preceded me, and through my studies and writing gradually became accepted as a seasoned resident.
Several people who I first met and then became friends with had a great impact on me. With my infamous memory for names I won't attempt to name most of them, but wherever they are, they know who I'm talking about.
Probably the first were Jim and Jean Campbell, soon to be owners of the Captain's wheel Restaurant, which I had a hand in naming. The next were coincidentally, fellow officers of the then appropriately named the Bayview Chamber of commerce. Lorraine Landwher, and last but certainly not least, Liz and Larry Justus. Larry, a builder and Liz the longtime beauty shop owner, and a beauty herself.
Since then, Jim &and Jean Campbell sold out and moved into the mobile living lifestyle of snowbirds. Larry retired from building and Liz sold her salon which is now the Idaho Fish and game offices. Liz and Larry developed a beautiful medium sized RV park built around Bayview Creek, which they named Lakeland RV Park.though has been hacked at many times, the creek still exists, the water burbling by the camp sites on it's way sometimes above ground, sometimes underground, to it's exit at Lake Pend Oreille. Liz & Larry traditionally have a happy hour every Friday at 3:00 pm for their tenants and friends.
Now comes why I chose to write this tonight. Larry has a lung disease I can't pronounce, but has been debilitating for a while now. Actually, Larry is in hospice care which he cheerfully explained to me was the end of the line. He said he was dying. I asked what can I do for you? Can I help? He chuckled and said, Herb, nobody can help me now, but you know, I would sure like to see all my friends again. He then went on to say, happy hour, as always, starts at 3:00. All I want now is to see my friends and bullshit with them until I'm gone. Larry, I'll be there, right on time. Y'all come, too.
Your friends will be with you, either present or in their thoughts all the way Larry. You will not be alone during your final journey.
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