Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hugh Bruce

We laid Hugh Bruce to rest today in my parish.

He was a veteran of the Vietnam War, a combat medic. He came out of the war a determined peace activist, active in Veterans for Peace and close friends with Grannies for Peace.

Somewhere along the line, he came out. All of his life, he was a faithful Catholic, and found himself thrown out of his parish. He spent the last 25 years of his life in the Episcopal Church and in our parish.
His lover of many years, Carl, predeceased him.

A little story to illustrate what sort of a man Hugh was:
He and Carl stopped into a restaurant in Hampton Roads, Virginia. They kissed and held hands, and no one in the restaurant seemed to mind except one rather large and rotund man at the table next to them who kept muttering "faggots" under his breath.
Hugh got up and confronted the man, telling him that he was a Vietnam Vet and could take care of himself, and did he want to settle this outside. The large man said yes. The maitre d ran over and demanded that both men stop right there. The maitre d asked Hugh if he wished to leave or the other guy. Hugh told the maitr d that the other guy could leave, he and Carl were staying. The other man left in a huff.
As Hugh and Carl were dining, people kept sending them drinks an desserts. Carl asked the waiter what was going on.
"Don't you know who that was?" the waiter said.
"I never saw that guy in my life," replied Hugh.
"That was Jerry Falwell,"the waiter answered.

A true story reported in the local paper the next day.

So our fighting Hugh is together again with Carl, and will be waiting for us all with a big mug of beer, and he'll say, "What took ya so long?"

--condensed from Justin Allen's eulogy.

Here is Hugh himself

For Hugh, the woman for whom Chicago blues musicians used to shake off their Sunday hangovers and go to Mt. Carmel Baptist Church just to hear her sing:

1 comment:

JCF said...

So our fighting Hugh is together again with Carl

I'm just *barely* enough of a universalist to hope that Jerry's there, too: chastened and (now/eternally) charitable!