For Joe Bolton
The Joe Bolton I Knew
Phillip G. Schloss
I used to play softball with Joe Bolton. He was an enthusiastic softball player who always came fully-outfitted with knee-pads and wrist-bands. In fact, he organized the games, which were a weekly affair for a period of time. He was very competitive, and took the games very seriously. He usually seemed to be a team captain. He was the kind of guy you hoped would choose you to be on his team. Like many others, I saw Joe on the last day of his life, riding his bike, a slightly bemused expression in his eyes. I was sitting on the ground leaning against a tree. It occurred to me to call out to him, but I didn't. Then he was gone. It wasn't any big deal. He was wearing a Hawaiian print shirt like normal.
The softball games stopped after he died, but his girlfriend organized a softball game in his honor. His parents came down to Tucson for the game, which was a real game, we really played softball, but nobody cared who won.