I will miss dining with my friend Will

Kids say the darnedest things. Never have I been around a child in my life where those words were more appropriate than one Will Cooke.

If you are familiar with the quote, you are way old like me, or you have watched a lot of obscure black and white television shows lately.

Art Linkletter (ask your parents) once had a television show where he sat a bunch of kids on a stage in chairs and just asked them a variety of questions dealing with a cornucopia of subjects.

The reason it was so funny is because the kids always told the truth. Either that or they would make up something so fantastical it bordered on fairy tale.

Had nephew Will been on Mr. Linkletter’s panel, I’m quite sure he would have been the star of the show and quite possibly been given his own show.

Now, I don’t think it’s any secret that Will is pure USDA 100 percent hambone. In other words, he loves a crowd and he never disappoints. (He may have gotten this character trait from his grandfather—I don’t know for sure, I’m just saying).

Will Will He loved playing baseball in front of the crowd and especially wearing the catcher’s equipment. He made sure everyone saw him with it on.

Well, while big brother Esten and dad Ken attended Boy Scout meetings on Monday, it became my responsibility to “entertain” Will for a couple of hours.

Believe me, I wasn’t the one doing the entertaining.

We always went someplace different. Either one of the two “pizza stores” or McDonald’s depending on which toy they were giving away that week, which of course was of the upmost importance.

I always kidded him that McDonald’s had closed down. He didn’t not think this was funny at all.

During one of our dinners together, while we gulped down chicken nuggets (his favorite), I commented on how many he had eaten.

“You ate more than I did,” I said in the most positive way possible.

“That’s okay,” he shot back. “You’re way fatter than me.”

He continued to rock sideto side in the booth and stuff his mouth full of nuggets.

I always asked him about what he did at school that day (which he didn’t always like) because I knew I was going to hear something fantastical.

He once informed me that he was the most hilarious person in his class.

(A quick show of hands, how many of you knew what hilarious meant when you were six years old?)

I asked him how he knew this to be fact and he told me that everybody laughed at everything he said and that he couldn’t help it if they did.

I informed him that I bet his teacher didn’t think he was so hilarious.

While riding around in my car several years ago, he picked up two pair of sunglasses— mine and Aunt Kakie’s.

He tried on both pair, both times studying himself in the mirror.

“Your sunglasses are cooler than Aunt Kakie’s.”

I was excited that I had passed the test of what a fouryear old thought was cool. Awesome! In your face Aunt Kakie!

Will will be moving with his family to Victoria as they embark on a new adventure and I have to admit there will be a void of laughter and wonderment in our lives.

Will is not a character—he has a lot of character.

His dad once told me that Will told him I was his best friend.

I hope we can still be best friends—long distance.

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2010-08-12 digital edition

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