Friday, September 22, 2006

on the pulse (an ode to Mr. Berry)

The fair mother city lost one of it's better citizens to a tragic train accident yesterday.

Mr. Berry (who's first name rhymes with his last) was killed by a passing train though town yesterday afternoon. Police released his name this morning and I'm shocked.

Not to get sidetracked on the suspicious subject of this being the fourth train/pedestrian death since May which coincides with the train speed through town being raised from 30 mph to freaking 70 mph...

Mr. Berry was infamous in the fair mother city for wearing super high, tight denim shorts...year round. Along with his trade-mark shorts, he sported knee-high tube socks, smooth & tanned legs, and mirrored "cop" sunglasses.

He brought a touch of Austin, or even a flair of the California Bay area to West Texas. We need more like him.

Mr Berry could be seen walking along the N1st and S1st corridor most afternoons.

Just last Saturday my dad and I were waiting for a food order at a N1st restaurant and I spotted Mr. Berry across the street and realized I haven't seen him in months.

I've watched Mr. Berry for almost 10 years from a distance, starting back when he daily walked in front of the music store I once worked at. I never had a chance to meet him, but I've waived while I drove by. He once stated in a newspaper article spotlighting him that these drive-by greetings made him feel like a movie star.

An acquaintance at my former church said that Mr. Berry started attending services a few months back and even got saved. But I think he left because they started giving him flack about his dress. Go figure.

Mr. Berry & I have more in common than I knew...

I always dreamed that he'd come hang out at The Table. And since he had his thumb firmly planted on the pulse of the fair mother city, we could have learned a lot from him.

Mr will be sincerely missed by me. The streets of the fair mother city will not be the same.


Anonymous said...

The best eulogy I've read so far. Thanks.

Agent B said...

Thanks, Matt.

I don't usually bat a eye at celebrity deaths.

But this guy was such a local folk lore type hero in the arena of life I take interest in.

I realy wish I had met him. I'm saddened at his passing.

JesusFreak said...

I am in total shock about this! Mr. Berry was probably the best known Abilenian ever. Everyone I talked to about him knew who I was as soon as I mentioned "The guy with the socks..." I am so saddened to hear this news. I never got to meet him, but wish I had. I read the news article and the radio interview. I have always thought he was so fascinating. I pray that he did get saved. I will miss seeing those extraordinarily tanned legs on S. 1st.

JesusFreak said...

(Everyone I talked to about him knew who I was as soon as I mentioned "The guy with the socks...")

sorry, again, about forgetting to insert words. that was supposed to be "who i was TALKING about as soon". i got a little caught up in the moment!

J. Ryan Ruch said...

Yeah. I saw Mr. Berry everyday when I lived on Sayles. Bummer.