Buggsy – A tribute to my Grandad. Lost but never forgotten


David Boyd James
My Grandad

A tribute to my Grandad. He was there from the day I entered this world and I was there until the day he sadly left it.

We spent a lot of time together between those years, doing everything and anything. Climbing trees, road trips, camping, playing with dogs, visiting museums, air shows, chatting, learning about history and his beekeeping. The list goes on. We were never bored!

We shared a love of aircraft and our similar humour, be it a tale of adventures past (his stories of some kid he knew called “Creepy” Strickland always made me laugh as he talked about him with a wry grin on his face) or a classic Looney Tunes cartoon (especially his namesake Bugs Bunny).  We liked similar food and just enjoyed being around each other. I miss being called “The Deano” and “Boppers“.

He was once in a coma for two weeks following a heart attack. One night during that time I was sitting beside his bed in the ICU like I had done most nights before and he suddenly sat bolt upright shook my hand and said “Hello Boppers” then proceeded to go back into a coma for another week! I was stunned! He denied being in that coma for years after!

We shared a love of food from very early on and always a passion for aircraft
We shared a love of food from very early on and always a passion for aircraft

On another much earlier occasion, it was my turn to be in hospital. I was just a kid from the country and had to go in for some surgery at a big city hospital. Buggsy took me to get checked in and stayed with me for as long as he could. When the time came for him to leave, I was upset and nervous (I hate hospitals!) but just a few minutes later I hear a tap on the outside window. There he is smiling and waving! I will never forget that. I have no idea how he worked out exactly what window I was behind or even how he got high enough up to look inside, but it didn’t matter as he had made my day! That’s just the way he always was.

CAC Sabre
Buggsy with a CAC Sabre in 2002

As we both grew older our adventures together never ended. One of the greatest was a flight in an old DC-3 to King Island off the coast of Tasmania. We were joined by my Mum and Uncle Trev and had a fantastic day of flying, sightseeing and eating. Seeing him get to sit up in the cockpit with the pilots during one of the flights was fantastic! I cherish those moments.

King Island DC-3 Flight
King Island 2007

At his funeral service in 2008 I was too upset to make a speech but it was an honour to be his coffin bearer at both the church and his final resting place. This was the last thing I could ever do for a man who meant so much to me. We then celebrated his life at a nearby country pub. Just the way he would have liked it!

Warracknabeal 1970s
In the early 1970’s my life pretty much revolved around this trio

5 years has gone by and his loss still brings a tear to my eye. It always will.

RIP David Boyd James aka “Buggsy”. You are lost to us, but you will never be forgotten.

The Deano

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. gpcox says:

    A wonderful tribute. Wish I had had the privilege of knowing him.

    1. Deano says:

      Thankyou. He would have loved chatting with you about Korea and so forth. When he was younger he was training to be in the RAAF but luckily WW2 ended and with the downsizing of the air force he was not required to go on.

  2. Very moving and well done. He sounds like he was a wonderful grandfather.

    1. Deano says:

      Thankyou. Yes he was a great Grandfather. We had a lot of fun together! 🙂

  3. Marjie James says:

    I really enjoyed reading that Deano, made me cry though. I miss Dad very much.

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks Marjie. I know how it feels. Wasn’t easy to write.

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