Some of you may wonder at the picture of the fellow at the top of this blog. He was my good friend, adviser, colleague, and hiking buddy before his passing on March 7, 2009. His name was Arthur H. "Bud" Wilson. He was a few years older than me and retired from a successful career in the corporate world, living life as he pretty well pleased.
Married and divorced twice, he was a committed bachelor. We co-founded the National Funding Association together, a financial networking group which merged with the Commercial Finance Association in 2012. I leave his name and the picture of him hiking in the Black Mountains as a sort of memorial to a truly memorable man.
He was a fitness buff, woodsman, canner of food, great hiker, association leader, and investor. I don't know if he was "the most interesting man in the world" as a beer commercial describes its lead character, but he was an interesting individual. He was always great to talk with, bounce ideas off of, and to just shoot the breeze.
He loved backpacking and he taught me much about the art, hazards, and beauty of the sport. It is truly a way to experience nature like no other - just a good walk in the woods, mountains, or desert with no aim in mind except, as Bud would put it, "wilderness travel."
He was a man of strong opinions and long time friendships. He could be hard nosed when one disagreed with him, but his loyalty to his friends was never in doubt.
One does not have many true friends in this life, and when you lose one, it hurts. I noted when they held visitation at the funeral home, those most affected, outside his family, seemed to be his hiking buddies. They were the ones who shared the joys and the hardships of the trail, and had the time to get to know him away from the noise and clutter of everyday life. That's why Bud Wilson's picture and dates of life are at the top of this page. He was one of a kind.