Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Today is the day once celebrated as the birthdays of two wildly disparate people.  The first one you all know.

It's hard to believe that this handsome young man turned into this before he died.

Elvis Presley would have been 78 today and probably still would have been singing had not the drugs and weight problems taken him at the age of 42 . . far too soon.

Another whose birthday I always remember on this day is this young man.

Well, actually I don't remember Reed Schonfeldt in his cowboy suit as a young boy.  I didn't meet him until after he had moved to California, to Alaska and finally to Arizona.  Wherever Reed went he made lifelong friends.  I don't know anyone who ever had a harsh word for him.  I met him when SWMBO and I were running our bookstore.  Reed was selling advertising for a small weekly newspaper.  Occasionally we'd place an ad in it.  More likely Reed would buy a book to add to his collection of Native American history.

Reed became one of my best friends, especially after I learned he was suffering from a disease that finally claimed his life, muscular dystrophy.  When he became housebound I would stop by for a visit and occasionally run an errand for him.  I talked to him on the telephone the afternoon before he died in the evening.  He seemed fine then, though I knew he was unlikely to ever come back to his home.

He was a gentle, kind man and he, too, died much earlier than he should have.  It's been several years now and I still think about him and miss him.

Reed Schonfeldt
January 8, 1947 - April 18, 2010