Cam Arrington, a former neighbor and long-time resident of Farmington passed away last week. I am Facebook friends with his brother, even though he and I have never met, and he posted the news. I also know a couple of his sons--they lived in the neighborhood at one time. I haven't seen or spoken to Cam in years.
But I remember one conversation we had, on a bus, one September late afternoon.
Cam worked up the hill. I got on the bus downtown. The bus was usually more than half full which means by the time it picked me up, I had to choose someone to sit with--not a big deal, but some people are more comfortable to sit by than others. If the seat next to Cam was open, I usually ended up taking it.
On that particular September afternoon, both our minds were somewhere else, a few thousand miles east, to be precise. It had been quite a day. I spent the day doing almost no work. There were hardly any phone calls--it seems people had other things to think about. The day was September 11, 2001 and two Farmington residents took public transportation and discussed how not just our worlds, but everyone else's changed several hours earlier.
I'm unable to recall most of the conversation between the two of us that day, but I remember that Cam, a man twenty-six years my senior, and I shared our dismay, our shock, our thoughts about the loss of life, the improbability of it all. From what I know about Cam, he spent his life interacting with people, in his work, in his religious callings. I'm glad that, on that terrible day, I decided to sit next to him.