I took a friend with me on the road one year, he fit in perfectly, his name was Stewart. I met him in a big city on the west coast, we met in a hostel actually.
He was a total drifter like me. We had a lot of fun that spring with no cares in the world.
He knew I was a Carny and when it came time for me to go I asked him to come with me. Stewart was into it and excited that I would take him.
As I said, he fit in perfectly and we had a great time that summer of 1986.
The guy was a natural in a joint and always had the customers in stitches he was so funny, he was truly a gifted person and I learned a lot from him about life, I will never forget him.
The last time I saw him in person was near the end of that season. We had both been fired for not showing up to work on opening day that spot because we met some girls and went partying and to their place for the night.
Anyway, we finally showed up that afternoon all fucked out and hung over. The boss screamed at us and told us to fuck off. We were at the bunk packing our shit when he came by and said he wasn't really going to fire us and told us to get in our fuckin joint's.
Stewart decided he was heading east to see his folks instead, that was his plan for the end of the season anyway, so he took the early exit.
I saw him off in a cab at the gates. We exchanged addresses where we could write each other and he said "You won't write" and I knew neither of us would, guys like us never do.
I wondered for years what happened to him and where he was.
One night in 1998 I was flicking through the channels late and I saw him, a home video of him on a Human Interest program about families that were fighting offenders being paroled.
I watched it, and I learned what happened to him.
He was beat to death in a bar in 1993 by some assholes that were bothering a girl he was with, it was his birthday, it was his 29th and last. The guy got 5 years, Stewarts family was fighting his early parole.
Stewart was tough, I knew that about him, it took a few guys to hold him while another guy kicked him in the head again and again....till he died.
I finally tracked his family down a year and a half ago. I sent them a letter telling them how sorry I was and what a great guy he was even though they knew that already.
I told some of our adventures in it too, I can only hope I gave them some small piece of their Son back.
His Father called me and both he and his wife thanked me.
Even though Stewart was only out one season, he was a born Carny, I miss him to this day.