Me, my former girlfriend, Margaret, and my friend Buck in San Antonio, circa 1988. Buck passed away unexpectedly yesterday.
I knew Buck for more than three decades, and for several of those years, we were inseparable.
That's not a fully accurate statement. It would be better to say this: Buck changed my life.
When we met, I was still in the closet. Most people already knew I was gay, but I hadn't accepted it myself.
Buck didn't just teach me to appreciate being gay. Corny as it sounds, he taught me to appreciate being alive. He was always up to something creative (usually involving a mannequin or two). He was always up for a party.
I know that kind of exuberance sometimes masks depression, but I never saw an ounce of that from Buck. Every night, there was something new and fun happening at his house, a new, random assortment of people. He was like the country cousin of Auntie Mame and Pee Wee Herman.
The man knew how to entertain, is what I'm saying.
For good or bad, I wouldn't be the person I am today without Buck. And I know I'm not the only one who can say that.