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!
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.
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.
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!
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.