Rusty set the record.
As I write this, I am mostly dressed, prepared to go to the church and serve as pallbearer for my friend’s funeral. Pastor Bob Alderman—my pastor for all these years, and Rusty’s—will be delivering the eulogy.
But I wanted to write and let all my readers know, as a follow up to my previous post, that Rusty set the record, at Oakey’s Funeral Home.
The viewing was from 6-9 last night; we made the mistake of getting there at 6:25. Big mistake. We finally got into the viewing room, to greet the family, just a few ticks shy of 9:00. The line snaked around outside, people standing in the cold, and then we came in and sat in the 200+ seat chapel, awaiting our turn to be placed in another queue, to wind through a garage and down another long, long hallway, amusement-park-like, until we finally made it into the viewing room.
When we left at 5 minutes after 10:00, the original line was done, but the chapel, prior to the second line, was still about 3/4 full. If the viewing was over much before midnight, I’d be surprised.
As I was leaving, I sauntered over to the two funeral home guys (what do you call ’em?) and asked, “have you ever seen a crowd like this before?” The one fellow said that he’d worked there 18 years, and had never seen anything like it. The other fellow offered that Oakey’s had done the funeral for Vic Thomas. Vic was a Roanoke Valley icon, a leading citizen of the city for many years, and a state senator. More people turned out for my best friend’s viewing than did for Vic Thomas.
I’ve got to go now; Karen just gave me the “Byron, it’s time”, and she’s right. But I write this post as a further tribute to the enormous impact of a quiet life lived well, in service to Jesus and to other people.
And when it comes to serving other people, Rusty set the record.