One night a long time ago,
I was about to walk home in the dark,
When my soon to be friend’s very loud mother
Ordered me into my soon to be friend’s very quiet father’s cab
For a short ride to my house.
He didn’t charge me,
I’m not sure he even spoke to me
And that’s how it would go
All the way through high school
Except for that time when I ate all the chicken.
There are some people who talk a lot,
I tend to blow them off,
There are others who say almost nothing.
They are the ones to pay attention to.
Stew was that guy.
My friend’s father passed away recently.
“Tear drops and sadness have not gone out of style,”
Dwight Yoakam sang those words and they’re special today
As I think about Stew and his white t-shirts
And cab driver’s tan.
I used to kid him about Dwight before I appreciated country music,
He only took my bait once,
“He’s pretty good,” was all Stew said.
That little bit has stuck with me all these years later.
It was classic Stew, short and sweet.
Ninety-two is a long time,
But maybe his most important example to me
Was how to raise those who aren’t yours
Because if you’re a righteous dude you’ll
Welcome everyone into your house as if they are.
Even when they scarf up all the leftover chicken.
It’s 1986 for me right now, Dwight is blasting,
And all I can think about is Hickory Lane and
How Albert Stewart will be missed because
He, too, “Was pretty good.”