People often tell me that they think that I'm a pessimist and that I should look on the bright side more often than I do. So I resolved to enter this New Year with a brighter outlook, but less than a week into it events have conspired to bring back the pessimist.
When I was younger, I grew up in an Army family. This meant that we moved on a fairly regular basis and making long term friends was difficult because of the transitory nature of our lives. However, whilst in Northern Ireland, I made friends with another Military Policeman's son and daughter, and our mothers became the best of friends as well, mine having been born in Australia, theirs in the US.
Oddly, when we were posted from NI to Hong Kong, they followed a few months later, with Norman, Michelle and myself getting up to all sorts in the New Territories of Hong Kong (it was the early-70s and it was fairly safe for young children to be out and about unsupervised).
There was then a bit of a hiatus, as they were posted to Canada and we were posted back to the UK, and I next saw Norman when he started school in the UK in 1976. Two years later I went to the same school.
When he left school, Norman settled in the States and joined the US Marine Corps, serving for a short time before joining the Dallas Police Department, ending up as a Senior Corporal in the Gang Unit.
After Norman returned to the States, we never met up again although we did talk on the phone sometimes. Sadly, a meeting will not now take place as I found out yesterday that on Tuesday, whilst executing an arrest warrant, Norman was shot and killed by one of the men he was trying to arrest. Sadly I found out too late to be able to attend the funeral in Dallas today.
RIP Norman Smith.