There are certain people we come across in life who have many things figured out. One such person I've known was the late Alabama State Trooper Fred Lee from Decatur, Alabama. My friend, David, who has in many ways been like a brother to me since the mid-90s, sent me a note letting me know that Fred passed away yesterday.
Like I said, Fred had a lot of things figured out in life. The most important one was to not take life too seriously. He didn't. He often used to talk about the funnier sides of life and were his stories ever that. And when you had extra money that he knew about, his favorite joke was to ask for a contribution to the FLTF–The Fred Lee Truck Fund.
In the picture included in this post from June 19, 1995, you can see Fred at the far left. He was one of Gov. Fob James' body guards when we all worked in the governor's office from 1995-1999. That's Gov. James talking. That's my eye ball peaking around him holding the microphone to ensure he was never misquoted.
Off to the distance behind me is now former Gov. Don Siegelman who beat us in the 1998 elections and was later convicted of federal crimes. Next to me is a former Montgomery Advertiser reporter and friend, the late John Alcorn. Next to him, former Birmingham News reporter Tom Lindley.
I'm sad at the loss of Fred, but I know St. Peter now has a fun friend in his midst. No telling what Fred will be saying in Heaven. I miss you, Fred. Can you now start putting funds into the DCCF in Heaven?