John Bevan Foard … if you said that name to anyone in Maryland, they would look at you cross-eyed.
Punkey Foard … now THAT would get you one of two things – a grimace or a smile.
Punkey was known from one end of the state to the next. He was also famous in the farming communities in Pennsylvania … all over DC and the rest of the East Coast. They knew and respected him in Europe as well as South America, where he would go to shop for Valley View Farms. Then there’s the Trinidad and Tobago connection, as well as St Lucia, Belize and various other parts of the West Indies.
Those of us who knew of his passing on Sunday evening said goodbye to Punk’ this morning in just the way he wanted – simply, quietly, without fuss and fanfare.
We sat quietly in the Chapel at the Crematorium and reminisced about the man we all knew and loved.
I’ve always looked on Punkey as another father, so that finding out yesterday that he was gone hit me hard – perhaps harder that I was prepared to deal with. It honestly felt like I had lost my father all over again … so fierce was the pain in my chest.
I looked at the faces sitting in that little chapel. Most of us wore the same shocked and disbelieving expression. I listen as Kathy told us what were his instructions regarding his ashes and I realized that Punkey was really a romantic soul. That’s not really a surprise … I believe he honestly loved everyone that he met.
Yes there were times when he knowingly or inadvertently rubbed those same people the wrong way, but deep down he had everyone’s best interest at heart.
Today I said goodbye to my friend, my second father, my benefactor and someone who made it possible for me to laugh heartily and laugh often, even on days when all I really wanted to do was curl up and die.
Thank you Punkey for the privilege of being a preteen at many a lavish table at the Hilton, the Normandie, Chaconia and Holiday Inns. Thanks for New Year’s Eve parties at La Boucan or at home … for Sunday evening roof top dinners at fine restaurants. Thanks for the gift of knowledge given and the opportunities to explore beyond my comfort zone … for chances to witness new and different cultures and sights in my youth – both at home and abroad.
You got me into mischief, into trouble and always managed to get me out of it… Thanks for supplying me with a ton of ‘big brothers’ and additional cousins.
You threatened to ‘cuss down’ my ex-boss when you thought she had no respect for my ‘personal off time’ – proof yet again that you really were my persona protector.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is … Thank You Punkey, for making me a priority in your life when you really weren’t obligated to.
I love you, I miss you, I’m blessed to have known you…
Go with the angels and Rest in Peace.