The few of you that know me personally know a lifetime ago I used to be a police officer and my best friend was killed in the line of duty. This was what I wrote for his memorial service.
My first week of the academy, I as some of the students did, moved to Cape Girardeau for the nearly four-month long course. I was ill prepared when it came to supplies and the only shoes I had with me were the pair of black Crocs that I was wearing. Unknown to me prior to the first week, we were to have PT, physical training, that week. Our first day of physical training, I had no gym clothes and of course, no tennis shoes, and we were to run a half mile within a certain time. I started out terrible and saw on the return lap that I was in last place with absolutely no chance of doing any better. I
figured I might as well get some fun out of it so within 50 yards of the finish line, I light up a cigarette and casually stroll the last few yards. Of course the instructors were not amused but the rest of
the class thought it was hilarious. At least once a month, every month, since, Evan would bring it up in casual conversation and say, “That caused me to think that I was going to hate you. I really thought you were going to be a douche.”
About two months into the academy, we had an instructor whose name I can’t recall. He was, at that time, a Deputy from Iron county. I don’t remember the topic of the subject he was teaching but in this middle of his lecture, Evan, who already sat in the front row directly in front of the instructor’s podium, would raise his hand with a highlighter extending from it as though he needed the extra help from the highlighter to bring attention to himself. After about his third question, he raised the hand and highlighter again. The instructor
jokingly replied, “Look scooter, if you don’t put down that damn highlighter, you and I are gonna have problems. Every time I see that highlighter, I hear something stupid come out of your mouth.” The
nickname “Scooter” stuck with him ever since.
Evan was an amazing shooter. He could keep a 6 inch grouping at 25 yards, which is very impressive. He was so proud of it that when he first got the job at Caruthersville, he went out and bought a pin that
said something to the effect of “Expert Sharpshooter” that he wore on his lapel above his name tag. This is a position that Caruthersville did not recognize. He was ridiculed for a while for spending his money on that. He still wore it proudly for months after.
Evan was a great guy. He was my best friend. I’ve never actually had a friend like him before. Even through all the mistakes I made, He’d give me a bro hug, call me a “retard” and say, “it’ll all work out.” and that’d be the end of it. He was the most loyal friend any man could ever ask for. He would give anyone the shirt from his back if he thought you needed it, even if it was the only shirt HE had. He was a family man and his world revolved around Cade. He loved his son more than anything. He was truly devoted to Cade, as parents are. That poor kid looks just like his daddy.
It hurts my heart deeper than anything ever has before to know that he’s gone. I’ve never gone more than a couple of days without at least getting a text message from him. It just doesn’t feel real knowing that I will never see him again, or mess with him about those huge ears he carried. I’m still not sure how he managed to lug those heavy things around 🙂 It just seems like maybe he’s at work and he’s just been busy. I really don’t know what to think or feel. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was think of stories of my best friend that
were capable of being shared. Most of our stories and time together were filled with inside jokes and language that definitely can’t be printed. The rest of the time was spent with him being beaten, badly, while playing Modern Warfare 2, or grilling, or sitting outside in the heat consuming some adult beverages and griping about the women in our lives while they sat inside in the air conditioning watching tv.
There has been 30 things happen today that I think, “I’ve gotta tell Evan about this.” Then the sad realization hits. I keep wanting to text him knowing he’s not going to answer. I guess I’m just wishing God would allow him to read it. I’m not sure. I really appreciate you eulogizing him like this, Christina. I doubt any of this did, but I really hope it at least helped piece together just how great of a person Evan was. He was a decent cop, a good man, a great dad, and a best friend.