Beloved classmate Buzz Farias sings with the angels
A couple of weeks ago, the Class of 1969 at Northwestern High School lost a beloved member. Buzz Farias had battled brain cancer for the past two years and decided it was time to go. He was a great teammate in football, a great classmate in schoo...
A couple of weeks ago, the Class of 1969 at Northwestern High School lost a beloved member. Buzz Farias had battled brain cancer for the past two years and decided it was time to go. He was a great teammate in football, a great classmate in school, and a friend to all he knew. His sense of humor was in a class by itself. The one word that describes Buzz was, and will always be, class.
I had not seen Buzz in many years and had hoped that he could make it to our 40th class reunion this past summer. His sister Lisa was going to accompany him, but he was too ill to make the trip from Alabama. It would have been wonderful to see him so we could tell all of the usual lies that long ago friends tell. Our reunion was dedicated to him as a gesture of how we all felt about him. I don't know of one person in our school who didn't like Buzz. I didn't like Buzz until our freshman year at NHS. He attended the Poplar Grade School and I attended Lake Nebagamon Grade School. After all, Poplar was a suburb of Lake Nebagamon, so we didn't get along that well. Also, we had the lake, the Dairy Queen, and we destroyed Poplar in the district basketball championships when we were eighth graders.
When I got to know Buzz, I was like everyone else with whom he came in contact. His charm, wit and dynamic personality made you like him within minutes. His passion for life was incredible, and his singing voice was one of beauty. He toured the country with a musical group, Up With People, and displayed his talents on the world stage. He was pretty incredible. I was envious of him because of the beautiful girls that surrounded him on that stage. At any gathering, Buzz was the center of attention, not because he wanted to be, but because that's where he belonged. He lived live with a passion.
Buzz is the 12th member of our class to say goodbye. With each passing member, each of us loses a little of our own identity. It is important to stay in touch as much as possible, even though we have gone our separate ways. I am saddened by the passing of my friend, Buzz Farias. I was fortunate to speak with Buzz a few times in the past year. I wish I had called more often. He was a big part of my all-important high school years, and now occupies a big part of my heart and mind.
This past Sunday evening, some of his classmates met at Rapids Riverside to toast our friend. The stories that were told and the memories of growing up in the country and attending Northwestern High School brought us back almost 45 years ago. It was a nice night, and I know Buzz approves.
His wife Dotty must be an incredible person. Buzz could not attract anything but the best. I ask that anyone who knew him, say a silent prayer for Buzz and for Dotty. Life goes on, but please don't forget, we are here for only so long. Make a positive difference in the world. Buzz did. We owe it to our friend to do the same. Now, please be silent so we can listen to him sing.