Bunky has checked out

by Dave Williams

We all say we want to live each day as if it was our last but we don’t. We live responsibly and follow rules of behavior that sometimes tug at the free spirit within us like a dog straining at the leash.

We try to be people others will approve of.

Randall “Bunky” Jacobs did not.

Randall “Bunky” Jacobs

“Uncle Bunky burned the candle, and whatever else was handy, at both ends. He spoke in a gravelly patois of wisecracks, mangled metaphors, and inspired profanity that reflected the Arizona dive bars, Colorado ski slopes, and various dodgy establishments where he spent his days and nights.”

Bunky didn’t care what anyone thought of his life of self-indulgence. Though some would surely judge him harshly it seems pretty obvious that Bunky just plain didn’t give a shit.

Yet, those who knew him loved him.

“His impish smile and irreverent sense of humor were enough to quell whatever sensibilities he offended. He didn’t mean any harm; that was just Bunky being Bunky.”

He died far younger than necessary I suppose. Still, his obituary tells me that Uncle Bunky got more out of 65 years than most of us would in 165.

“In lieu of flowers, please pay someone’s open bar tab, smoke a bowl, and fearlessly carve out some fresh lines through the trees on the gnarliest side of the mountain.”

Bunky surely had his regrets. The obit doesn’t mention a wife or children though that doesn’t mean he didn’t have them. I’m guessing he did not and that might have been a sore point for him. Who knows?

It’s impossible to know what a man on his death bed is thinking. Did Bunky wish he had done things differently or did he simply enjoy his life, accept his fate graciously and look for the exit? The obit suggests the latter.

“I’m ready for the dirt nap, but you can’t leave the party if you can’t find the door.” – Uncle Bunky

I’ve decided I can admire Bunky without idolizing him. I don’t think he’d want to be idolized anyway.

Maybe he could have lived longer and even happier in some respects, maybe not.  That’s a personal matter we’ll all have to decide for ourselves.

Either way, there’s something about Bunky or his legend that I love.


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Author: Dave

Dave Williams is a radio news/talk personality originally from Sacramento, now living in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Carolann. They have two sons and grandsons living in L.A.

2 thoughts on “Bunky has checked out”

  1. That’s a very nice vignette, Dave. I sometimes wonder if Bunky and folks like him who live on their terms and offer no apologies for their shortcomings developed their character traits in childhood — or if their crusty shell hardened as the result of some calamitous fissure somewhere along their life’s path. Bunky probably wouldn’t have fessed up to that, even if it were so.

  2. I don’t want to be Bunky or think like him or live like him, but maybe I’m a bit jealous that he got away with it. Sure, we have the choice to break all the rules, but many of us don’t have the inclination to live with the consequences. So yeah, jealous.

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