ELRR Graveyard

This blog is no longer active. It's pretty much just a bunch of drunken idiocy mixed with senseless ramblings. A more refined blog can be viewed at riraho.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Doug Duncan Tribute

Our hockey team won Sunday 8-7 in the unforgiving relentless heat. We played that game in hell. I could feel the heat coming off my body making me even hotter. Fries had 5 goals, one off a nice assist from me, and i even scored for once, off a nice pass from Corey. After that i trudged into work. Closed today, and was supposed to close Tuesday, but Steph did me the giant favor of closing so i can goto College's birthday party. And now without further adieu.....

Douglas Randolf Duncan, 1942-2001

Doug Duncan was a great man. The best black man i've ever known. I met him at That Fish place and worked with him for a few years. He was unbelievably funny guy to know. Old, tall, salt and pepper hair and goatee, and he had a southern like drawl to his voice that was unmistakable in that fish place. He sounded just like Bill Cosby in his dragged out bum sounding voice that he always does. But, he got sick and died 3 years ago today. He's probably the closest person i've ever known that has died. So lets remember the good times.

First off, he was a down on his luck kind of guy. Lived in a room above a bar called Bully's right in Columbia, PA. He drove this old beat up Crown Victoria that looked like it had been through war. He would shave in the bathroom at work and sleep in the back during his lunch hour. He didnt give a damn though, he was just going thru the motions. He would get an empty gatorade bottle, throw in some kool-aid and add some vodka and drink it at work, haha what an act. One day i was leaving work and he was waiting for a ride home that never came. Since i lived somewhat near his place i drove him home. Soon i was picking him up in the morning and driving him home after work. We'd pick up breakfast and sometimes get dinner on the way home. It probably was quite the sight; me the whitest guy in the world and this old black guy driving all around Lancaster and Columbia and back again. Somehow he got to calling me Pokemon, which then migrated into Pokey-Poke. He on the other hand, went by Pappy, his old CB handle from driving truck. Odd but very funny.

I would always be lending him money, but he was very good at paying it back. Since he could rarely afford gas, i would be his chauffer to many destinations. Like the time we went ALL over York, trying to find a new body for his beat up Ford, or the junk yard down the street. I still heed his advice from that day: This is York, you dont leave the car running. The best thing about his car, was that it was in shreds. The kids in his neighborhood would steal it and beat the hell out of it, then return it. Added to that, he let the inspection and registration run out. He put these fake stickers from work on the plates to fool the cops. When that ploy failed, we drove all over Lancaster trying to find an abandoned license plate to put on his car. That also didnt pan out, which landed him in jail over Christmas back in 2000.

He also was CollegeBoy and my source to find beer before we turned 21. Like i said, he didnt give a damn, as long as we gave him a few beers or a handle of the cheapest vodka available. The best was when we would get him later in the night, and have to hear his hilarious rants about us dragging his ass down the steps. College and I still remember him coming down in the maroon sweat pants and the beanie, classic.

And he always had the best stories. He'd tell me these outrageous stories in the car that would have me laughing so hard. I'd start dying and he would have to take the wheel and keep us on the road. I remember 2 of the best ones. The first was when he was playing baseball back when he was a teenager. He was running home and collided with the catcher. He said it was a brutal crash and it knocked his teeth out. The catcher made the mistake of laughing at his plight, so Doug picked him up and shot put him into the backstop. That was a great one, but my favorite was when he went on a rant about the neighborhood kids stealing his car. He said they would take the car and tear up the interior and drive it into ditches then drag it back to his place. He was telling me how pissed he got and how he would disconnect the battery so they couldnt make off with it. As i was driving he pulled out a little box of tools and said "I need to be a damn mechanic to start my car in the morning!" That time I nearly had to pull over the car, i was laughing so hard the tears were flowing. All that just to get kids to stop stealing his car.

I think the best moment was when we were in the Tabacco shop waiting for him to get lottery tickets. I was reading Maxim magazine while he was in line. He came up to me, told me i was waisting my time with magazines like that, and without taking his eyes off me, reached over and grabbed a copy of Black Tail Magazine, and said that was what i should be looking at. Easily one of the funniest moments ever.

When he was younger he got in a bad car accident and needed a blood tranfusion. He told me thats where his liver problems began. They got progressively worse and the last time i saw him was when i picked him up from the hospital. I dont know why i got the call, but i went and got him. We went to the Musser's grocery store to get some grocieries. I took him back to his place and dropped him off. It was about 2 weeks later that i heard that he had passed away from the liver problem. I hadn't seen him since he was unable to work.

If i think about it, the best thing i can say about Doug Duncan is that he deserved far more than he got. He wasn't above crossing the law, but he was no criminal. He was just getting by. The best part about him was just seeing him in all his glory. Just seeing the way he acted whether it be the Tobacco shop or the loading dock at work, and how he interacted with people and the world. So here's to Doug Duncan. To close here's the poem that was printed on the pamphlet given out at his funeral:


I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times, and laughing times and bright and sunny days.

I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun
Of Happy memories that i leave when life is done.


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