I happened to live and work in Wayland Iowa for some time and in that time one can’t help but hear the stories. There was some amazing people who have passed through there just like anywhere. I used to work with this lady who also previously owned the butcher shop who had a son. He was named “Cookie”.
At the meat locker there was always someone quoting this guy and telling stories about him. How they looked up to him.
Tragically he died from a car crash in his twenties I think. No one seems to agree on whether he was at fault or not. But, fault or not, dead is still dead.
His nickname came from supposedly stealing cookies for a lunch break while working at a Walmart distribution warehouse.
He was one heck of a partier. He apparently used to be quite the drinker. He was the party animal. Sort of like Belushi in animal house. Some bright light that is meant to burn out quickly and be extinguished.
In his short time, he impacted many many people. Trouble is he may have impacted them in the wrong way. Many alcoholics might just have been spawned from this man.
People still toast his memory while getting completely intoxicated. I have a problem with that. It feels inauthentic somehow. It feels like those who mourn/celebrate his passing twenty years later have really wasted a great portion of their lives. I would rather they just drink to their own memories if they must drink. Not because some dead guy thought the world should be drunk all the time.
How wild. Sad. Tragic. True.
With that being said, how can we leave a better thing to be remembered for?