Letter: Thoughts on Dickie Gallihugh

I attended the funeral of Dickie Gallihugh last week at the beautiful cemetery in Etlan, Va.

There, I thought about the life of Dickie and the 12 or more years I have known him. I have heard a lot of people put him down, and I know, at times, he was influenced by alcohol and could do and say inappropriate things. However, I also knew the heart of Dickie and he was always positive, with a wonderful outlook on life. He also constantly talked of heaven and knew he was going there.

DIckie Gallihugh in his younger days. Courtesy photo.
DIckie Gallihugh in his younger days. Courtesy photo.

Dickie lived in a one-roomed shack behind Wilma’s Old Store on F.T. Valley Road, with no running water. Up until a few years ago, he didn’t even have electricity. Still, he was as proud of that place as if it were a mansion.

What I noticed was that at the funeral, as in life, none of the wealthy people living in the F.T. Valley-area showed up when he died. I cannot imagine the amount of wealth up and down the F.T. Valley, yet no one that I know of, except a few of us middle class and lower middle class folks, ever picked Dickie up, gave him money, took him some firewood or just listened to him. In short, a person of circumstance was overlooked by those of means in this rich county of Rappahannock.

I hope, as you take care of your two or more homes and your two or more cars, that you think the next time you see a Dickie Gallihugh walking down the road you will pick him up and help him.

I will miss my friend Dickie, his smile with a cigarette hanging from his lips and a beer in his hand, saying what a beautiful day this is. Goodbye, my friend Dickie.

Maurice Lee Butler
Etlan

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