I just got back from 2 weeks in Panama where I was taunting my fellow bloggers and Facebook buddies caught back north in the deep freeze with pictures of 90F heat from the beach, the ocean, the pool and so on.
But while there I got to thinking, "This is where I first met Donnie." Oh he wasn't actually in Panama but on the other end of an e-mail as a moderator for the original Humor Bloggers Dot Com telling me humour was subjective but I just wasn't funny and that my application had been turned down. Turns out, Chelle, the owner of HBDC had already approved my application and suggested I e-mail back in several days to confirm. Donnie didn't know that but, lucky for me, over the years his opinion of me changed.
Donnie Kingery ran a blog called Beyond Left Field under the nom de blog Red Raider. And it was hilarious. I'm what Donnie might have referred to as a milquetoast, forever apologetic resident of the great white North, and Donnie - from Hattiesburg, Mississippi - struck me as a crusty red-necked curmudgeon and he ranted and raved about anything that struck his fancy and rubbed him the wrong way - but in an extremely humorous fashion.
And throughout the years, just as I left comments on his posts, he left comments on mine, almost going out of his way to tell me how funny he thought I was.
And not only that, he knew about my cancer and the chemo and radiation treatments I'd been through and from time to time he'd send me private messages asking me how I was doing? I really appreciated his interest which was very genuine and heartfelt.
And I learned from Donnie. Did you know former football great Brett Favre was from Donnie's home town of Hattiesburg? No, me either until Donnie told me.
They say friendships you make through blogging and on Facebook are superficial. True, I never met Donnie face-to-face (although I wish I had) but Donnie, through his actions and comments was a very good friend with a big heart.
Unfortunately that heart stopped beating in early December and so Donnie's unique voice - he had only just renewed his interest in blogging recently - unfortunately has been silenced.
I'll miss you my friend. Rest easy wherever you are. This world could use a few more Donnies.