A lifelong friend

Ever since he finished the third grade in Willow Springs, my brother Charles "Chuck" Stuart talked of a magical place and a magical crime fighter. The place was Willow Springs, and the crime fighter was Captain Tandy.  Chuck left Willow Springs after the third grade, but he kept the memory of the crime fighter and his son Bill Tandy.
He noted on many occasions that Bill was his best friend.  While growing up in Pensacola, Florida, he would lament being separated from the mystique of Willow Springs and his classmate Bill Tandy.   As the 1963-64 school year rolled around, Chuck negotiated with our parents to finish high school in Willow Springs.  This decision, as he put  it, "was the best of my life."  He was accepted immediately through the "wing-man" tactics of his good friend Bill Tandy.  According to Chuck, Bill managed, indeed leveraged, the "new kid's" popularity, social calendar, even arranged dates for him.  Although life events would take them in different directions, they kept up with each other through alumni events.  He was especially delighted to see Bill at their 50th high school reunion.  He noted it was like they had never been apart.  Not long before Chuck passed away.
I told Bill that Chuck wanted to see him. Bill stated absolutely he would make it happen.  Although there were roadblocks due to Chuck's failing health and precautions in place,
Bill extolled the naysayers with "He will know me....I am his best friend."  I think that statement says it all.  They had a friendship that wouldn't die.      
Mike Stuart
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Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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