You hear it all the time: “he was one of the good guys.” That old axiom certainly applies to my Uncle Nelson Stubbs, who passed away last week. He was one of the good guys. I didn’t spend as much time with my Uncle Nels as I should have over the years, even though he was my Dad’s brother and best friend and even though for most of my life I only lived 30 minutes away from him. I regret that. But I loved him and I will always remember him. Some of my memories will stand out more than others. I never once saw him act in anger or raise his voice. He generally had an easygoing smile on his face that reflected his gentle nature. And perhaps the thing I will remember most about my Uncle Nels is this: he was hands-down the best listener I have ever known. I first realized this when I was a teenager and my Uncle Nels and I started having meaningful conversations whenever I saw him. By that, I mean I wasn’t a silly kid anymore and I had something to add to the conversation. And he always listened. In fact, he not only listened, but he made me feel like what I was saying was important and had meaning. There weren’t any of the perfunctory “rights” and “sures”and “um-hms.” I could tell that he wanted to talk to me and that he really appreciated and respected what I had to say. That meant a lot to me then and means a lot to me now. I wish I had told him that while he was still here, but that would have been just for my benefit — I imagine he probably knew that. My Uncle Nelson departed this earth way too soon, but he left a wake that will linger long across the ocean of the loved ones he left behind. For my Aunt Wanda, my cousins Michele and Jeff, and my Dad, and all the other members of our family, I am sad he is gone. But I am happy knowing that I knew Uncle Nels. He was one of the good guys. And that’s a fact. OPPORTUNITY MISSED That’s all I can say about lottery winner Mark Hill’s decision to pull away from the Camden Point Park expansion project he has championed for more than a year. As we detailed in our front page report, Hill isn’t satisfied with the progress — or lack of — being made on the project, which included expanding the City park and relocating the ball field at the intersection of Interurban Road and E Hwy. It’s shame all those involved couldn’t find a way to help Hill spend the $6 million he had set aside for the project. But all is not lost. As our story reports, Hill plans to build a new fire/ambulance station on land he owns on Interurban. It will be a fine amenity for a small town like Camden Point and the entire community should be thankful that there is such a benefactor as Hill in their midst. Stay tuned. Thanks for reading.
Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.