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.