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Number One

Unexpected call from Long, my "Number One" from my early years in residence life. He is simply amazing, a man of steadfast character, quiet strength, and enduring grace. He was an RA for four years and served with me for three in an all-male, mostly freshman residence hall. He was functionally my first officer, and always my friend.

Long is in town on a layover en route to Alaska. He's recently married and working as a consultant on government contract, reviewing airport security measures across the country for the TFA. It's fascinating for me to see where all my little trees have grown.

Sadly, I've lost one of those trees. Long informed me that Cresin, another RA, died a few years ago in a fall from a window. Cresin was a deeply gifted artist, signing his work "Cresin Draon Smith, Child of God." A passionate Christian, he carrying a Bible in a holster and was able to connect with almost anyone. We nicknamed him "Yahtzee," because you never knew how the things he heard would come back out. Part of his beauty. I'll see you again, my brother.

Wish I weren't too tired to write more; I'm doing nothing justice. But it was very, very good to see Number One again.

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