This morning we attended funeral service for Nick Badyk. When we moved to Twenty Seventh Street, Nick was our neighbour to the south. You might call him an elder in the Long Branch community – he lived in that modest bungalow for 70 years. He moved here when Long Branch was cottage country for Toronto. When Nick moved to the street, his was among the first of the houses around, and Twenty Seventh Street was a dirt road. I remember Nick telling us when he moved in he could lock his arms around what is now a giant silver maple in the front yard.
I learned today Nick paid for the house with winnings from a poker game. I love that! Nick’s house is gone now, replaced by a huge new home under construction next door, but the memories and the history are still with us.
Nick was a machinist. When we moved next door, he was already long retired. Nick loved nature and he loved fishing. His friend Art used to come by and off they would go to their special places. At the funeral home, they had Nick’s fishin’ rod leaning up against the casket.
Nick was a very independent fellow. He didn’t want us neighbours cutting his lawn. A little help with snow shoveling, however, was acceptable.
Nick was a good man, a good neighbour, and our friend. We miss him. I’m glad we had a chance to see Nick’s family again today, and celebrate his life with them.