Bill Gurzi

Written by Bill Gurzi:
Posted on September 27th, 2009 at 9:57 am
Go Back to Remembrances

I met Frank in 1969 at, where else, KCPR. If he had a serious side, I never saw it. If he attended classes, I never knew it. Never saw him carry, let alone, read a text book. That’s why it’s so difficult for me to come with something deeply emotional to write about his passing or what his friendship meant to me so many years ago. I think Frank would expect from me, if not all of us who knew him then, what he excelled at most: spreading humor and laughter. Well Frank, I’m not in a laughing mood right now, so please accept this simple merger of fractured fairy tale and true story as my loving tribute to your memory.

I used to live in eastern Idaho. There’s not much to do there, but if you drive across the state line into Wyoming, there’s a beautiful refuge called Grand Tetons National Park. It was there I saw my first live moose. Ugliest damn thing I ever laid eyes on. Made Bullwinkle look like Brad Pitt. It didn’t make me think of Frank at all.

Today, I live in Long Beach adjacent to a large regional park and wildlife preserve. All the trees in my neighborhood are alive with squirrels. Not a day passes that I don’t see one or twelve. They’re adorable, much cuter than Brad Pitt. I’ve yet to see one wearing a leather aviator’s cap and goggles, though. Maybe that’s why they don’t make me think of Frank, either.

Yes, I’ve seen a moose and I’ve seen squirrels. But I’ve never seen a moose and a squirrel TOGETHER. Maybe someday I’ll find myself in that improbable place where their paths ultimately cross. Perhaps they’ll pause to chat, and I will imagine this to be their conversation, and I will definitely think of, and hear, Frank:

Moose: “Eeny meeny chili beany, the spirits are about to speak.”
Squirrel: “Are they friendly spirits?”
Moose: “Friendly? Just listen!”