Writing about death is practically an everyday occurrence for me, but I now find myself writing about it from a completely different, and very unexpected perspective.
Several months ago I was attending the Inspired Mic, a monthly “open mic” night for authors here in my town, and there was a newcomer in the lineup.
Walker Newton read an excerpt from one of his novels, and by the time his six minutes were up he had morphed from a writer I had never heard of, to the guy I wanted to be friends with.
Maybe it was his style of writing, which was very similar to mine. After the event several people approached me and commented about the similarities in our styles.
It could have been the fact that he was also a musician, often combining his musical performances with his book signings. I thought that was too cool.
Most likely it was his cool, easy manner.
Unassuming, modest, easy-going and humble.
I liked him immediately.
When I learned that he was from neighboring St. Augustine, and that his books were set there, I thought How do I not know this guy?
Walker and I had a couple of conversations and were featured together at a signing held at a local winery, where we exchanged books.
We were well on our way to becoming friends.
Sadly, that friendship has been put on hold.
Rance “Walker” Newton passed away on Monday April 13, 2015 at the age of 70.
After serving as a submariner in the US Navy, Walker received a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. He traveled extensively and had a very successful career in hotel development.
He was a talented musician and writer, but far more important, he was a friend to everyone he met.
His legacy will live forever in the hearts of all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
I’ve never written an obituary, and I didn’t know Walker well enough to do him justice, but I can say that he was taken far too soon.
As always – Thank you for reading…and Godspeed Walker