Fyl and I had so many great times with Pope. Probably the most fun times I’ve ever had were those hundreds of times we picked Pope up—imagine trying to get him out of the house each time—and took his endlessly babbling self out to some spot or another. Then, hours later, it took forever getting him back into the car and he’d babble endlessly home, and then there was the titanic struggle getting him to give us a final good night so we could get home. Sometimes we’d repeat the process the next day….
We knew this was coming. We’d been ready for a couple years. I imagine it was organ failure, the innards finally giving up the ghost. I remember the last time he made one of our Xmas parties, after his cancer diagnosis that began the end, just before the pandemic changed everything, he took me aside and said he didn’t think he’d make another, but was here to party one last time. He fired up a joint, we each took a long drag, coughed and hugged. Remember the good times, he said.