I called Arnie The Crocus, and Arnie called me Banana Breath. I do not remember why I called Arnie The Crocus. Anyone who knows me knows why Arnie called me Banana Breath.
Way back when Jesus Christ and the Disciples were an unsuccessful rock band, Arnie and I did time at Davenport United Church.
(Davenport United Church later merged with Perth United Church and became Davenport-Perth United Church. Jesus Christ and the Disciples never had a hit song, but they did revolutionize religion.)
Arnie lived a few blocks away from me. He was a few years older, and we went to different schools. But we hung out, whether it was after church or elsewhere.
Arnie became a minister. He worked in Barrie, Ontario, before moving out to Calgary, Alberta.
Arnie would visit Toronto occasionally, but not enough. When he did, we would walk around the old neighborhood and reminisce.
I last spoke to Arnie on December 20th, his 70th birthday. He said that he was in good health and had semi-retired. He was looking forward to retiring completely in 2021.
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, one month after his 70th birthday, Reverend Arnold George Chamberlain got up, showered, got dressed, and drove to work. He never made it. The Grim Reaper visited Arnie in the form of a heart attack. Arnie drove off the road. Fortunately, no one else was hurt.
What was Arnie thinking before he died? Did he know that he was going to die? Probably not. Why would he bother getting up for work and having a shower if he knew that he was going to die? Was he listening to the radio and enjoying a song? Was he wondering what he was going to do after work? What was on his mind? I will ask him the next time I see him.
Thanks for your friendship and the good times. Thanks for the engaging theological discussions. And thanks for your support during the rough periods in my life.