Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reuben Tuck

At All Saints Episcopal Church growing up, the friend with whom I got in most trouble was my pal Dan (or, then, Danny) Tuck. We would sneak down the stairs from the circular horseshoe-shaped Sunday school class rooms, the Horseshoe Room, natch, and attempt to sneak past the venerable Ms. Anna Gurley, church secretary of many decades. When I last visited Ms. Gurley, before her death, in the Rhodes Home beside I-20 in Atlanta, she kept calling me "Danny."

Dan and his sister Betsy were classmates of ours at Westminster. Their father, Reuben, died last week; the AJC obituary is here. I'm planning on attending a memorial tomorrow; quoting the All Saints prayer list:
"Reuben Tuck’s memorial service will be held December 16, at 3:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, 737 Woodland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316. Following the service, Southern BBQ will be served in the Church Parish Hall.
In lieu of flowers, it was Reuben's wish that people make contributions to the Friendship Center Program at the Holy Comforter Church.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Sally Tuck at 587 Brownwood Ave, Atlanta, GA 30316."

Dan was one of my closest teenage friends. We wound up at the University of Georgia at the same point in the 1980s as well, and scheduled a weekly lunch at The Grill, downtown Athens, in order to keep catching up.

Dan goes by Reuben, himself, now, and works as an actor, announcer, comedy specialist and voice artist in Hong Kong. For the sake of clarity, I'm going to refer to his Dad as Reuben for the next little bit.

I admired the calligraphy Reuben practiced and taught, and examples of art & craft in his home. He taught at continuing education programs in various sites in Atlanta for years. He worked with the Foundation for the Blind (I might have the name of the agency wrong). We often visited at his apartment on Shallowford Road in the 1970s, with fine pipe tobacco in evidence, and lots of good books.

Reuben regularly would sing as a member of the All Saints Church Choir, and in Summers for a year or two, I would attempt to sing in the choir, too, when an open invitation was extended to us congregants. Most of all, I remember the joking and laughter shared by Reuben with the late Herb Beadle in the robing room. Much laughter.

Reuben bought a house over in the East Atlanta neighborhood and Bronwood Park area and remarried. I visited when Dan returned occasionally over the years since the early 1990s. I believe Reuben began worshiping at Holy Comforter when he moved in that neighborhood. We'll be there to honor him tomorrow.

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