Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Letter from RJ Garcia

Bill Freeman is a friend of mine.

Before I begin, let me express my sincere condolences to Becky and Susie Freeman. I know Bill loved Becky. They've been through some good times and sad times but managed to keep it together through all of it. Bill's face would light up every time I asked about Susie. He was so proud of her and her gig at NASA. Hell, if Bill could have figured out a way to be on that shuttle instead of watching it, he would have done it.

My story begins in 1988 or so when I first met Bill. Bill was the reserve and acquisitions engineer at CODA Energy. It didn't take long to figure out he really knew his stuff and made my job as a bank engineer much easier. More importantly, I gradually began to know Bill as a person, and once I got past that gruff exterior it became apparent that Bill had a heart of gold as big as Texas. I learned that we shared a love of high school football, UT football, Southwest Conference football, Texas Ranger baseball, golf, hunting and fishing, skiing, and a general zest for life. From Bill, I learned to live every day as it might be my last.

During the last twenty years, I shared a lot of good times with Bill. Among the highlights were skiing at Vail/Beaver Creek, watching the US Open at Southern Hills, attending the MLB All Star game at the Ballpark in Arlington, dove hunting at the palatial hunting lodge in Electra Texas, playing a couple of rounds of golf with Bill and Russell Romoser at Southern Hills in Tulsa. The highlight of all the bucket list items was going with Bill to the 2002 Masters at Augusta National. Bill called and saying he had a couple of tickets and asked if I could go for the Thursday/Friday rounds. I figured he was pulling my leg, but it gradually dawned on me he wasn't joking. Didn't take long for me to book a flight to Atlanta and join Bill for the golf trip of my life. We must have covered every inch of that golf course during those two days. I believe that Susie came up and joined him for the last two days and they were able to watch Tiger make history. I know i came back with $700 worth of goodies for my buddies.

I feel fortunate to have known Bill Freeman. He was one of my heroes and I'll miss him.

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