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 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