Bill, your untimely fate is something I never have quite accepted.
Riding rapidly in your red Volkswagen, on our three-week adventure to Colorado in the summer of '65, in search of adventure, was one of my fondest, lifetime memories. (And Colorado has never been the same since, I think.) We both had and shared so many wonderful dreams for our futures. But at summer's end, I returned to school, and you became a Marine. Eventually, I did follow you to fight in Vietnam, but by then it was far too late to save you.You - and so many of us - were cheated out of what would have surely been your wonderfully long life, your future family, and given your extraordinary talent, your certain successful future.
Tragically, you may not have lived beyond age 20; but you have lived vividly - for nearly four more decades - in my memory.
Like our riding together over the hot and dusty Nebraska plains - windows open and singing at the top of our lungs in concert with the radio, the great songs of the 60's - toward Colorado in the short summer of '65, I have always felt your spirit near to me in my many travels since.
Indeed, it has been quite a ride for us, old friend. May you rest in peace, Bill Rees. Semper Fi! . . . and please put in a good word for me, when I finally arrive.
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