It's the spot once occupied by Norman "Buck" Pennington, who self-identified as "a twice-retired guy (USAF and IT industry) who lives
Back in 2011, when I nominated Buck for the "Stylish Blogger Award," (an honor which he politely declined), I described his blog as "Buck's ruminations on most anything that crosses his mind. And beer. And cigars. And music." But there was much more to that blog, and to Buck, than just those few throw-away words. Much more. I mean, that list doesn't even mention planes, or Buck being a "sensitive seventies kind of guy" (on occasion -- ;-) ), or HOCKEY, for crying out loud!
I first started following Exile in Portales when I ran across one or another of Buck's comments on some blog (probably conservative or satirical. Or both.) back in 2009 when I first started exploring the Blogosphere. It wasn't long thereafter that I began to think of Buck as an actual flesh-and-blood friend. We emailed, we were both Grammar Nazis, we sent each other jokes that shouldn't have been put out there in the Blogosphere to serve as ammunition against us or our families at some point in the future, we commiserated, and gave advice to one another. He schooled me in the phrase, "get off my lawn!" Shoot, he and Andy even taught me how to make the Internet do italics and bold!
I got to know his family -- he adored his family -- and shared his pride in their accomplishments. He got to know my family. He put up with all my posts about our dogs. He rarely failed to post a comment on my posts whether they were about politics or weather or birdfeeders. I could always count on a visit from my friend, Buck.
But, he fell through that hole in the internet late last month, and now he's off on a new adventure in What Follows Next. He's truly no longer bound by physical limitations, or Exiled anywhere in this plane of existence.
I can expect no more visits from my friend, Buck.
But, I can visit his place from time to time and maybe read his Blog from its beginnings. And I can look for updates from his sons on how they plan to carry out Buck's last wishes: to be cremated and scattered at a bunch of fun places. Well played, sir. Well-played.
I'll miss you, buddy. Enjoy Happy Hour, wherever you are. *clinking of glasses (preferably Waterford)*