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January 20, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Remembering A Man Of Personal Influence

Today's song is one of my own creations, Monty's Theme, created on January 20, 2004.

Three years ago tonight, one of my best friends, a second father to me, and, my Best Man at my wedding, passed away. I thought I was going to be able to get through this month without mentioning the deaths of those I loved that I've faced in January's past. But this afternoon I found a letter I wrote in May 2004 and I knew I would write this message as a result.

After Monty Artus died, many people who lived in his town were saddened for a long time. I heard about them from his son, Bill Artus. I wrote a letter to share my views with them. That's the letter I read today quite by accident. Or maybe it was not so much of an accident after all. I share it with you below.

May 2, 2004

To Family Friends of the Late Bill Artus:

I am aware that you all miss the late Bill Artus. I share in that same emotion and feel his absence keenly. Here are some thoughts that give me some comfort.

I had the honor and pleasure of knowing the man for 34 years. I can never think of a time when he was truly angry with me. Very few people I've known have never been angry with me at some point or another. He was a person who wanted to be loved as much as he loved his friends and family. We filled that need in him.

I missed talking to him on what would have been his 89th birthday last February. I missed him in the same way on my birthday in April. When Father's Day arrives in June that will be another day of sorrow.

I used to love to call him on the Memorial Day weekend, since that was the holiday weekend he moved to Grand Marsh, Wisconsin in 1972. I was just thinking of the 1992 20th reunion on that weekend when the whole family showed up to celebrate the event. His face was bright with excitement and happiness on that occasion.

He is in a better place now, no longer in pain. We will see him again when we cross over to the other side. I sometimes sense his Spirit around me for brief periods of time and that is a great feeling. When the wind blows just right and the leaves rustle, I know he's near. When the smell of barbeque permeates the air, I think of him. When I drive across open stretches of highway, he's there with me in my heart.

Undoubtedly you too have your own way of keeping him alive in your mind, heart, and ways. When you make coffee, when you make bacon and eggs, when you have a beer, he's with you.

It will always be that way because of who he was and how he affected us.


Don Larson

For those of you who never knew him, I'm pretty sure you know someone like him who helped you out at some point in life without expectation of repayment. If they are still alive, seek them out and tell them how you feel. If they are gone, then say a prayer as I did today.


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