What’s Love Got to Do with It? Everything

Oh, what’s love got to do, got to do with it . . . What’s love but a second hand emotion . . .—Tina Turner (With all due respect, Ms. Turner, I disagree.)

My sister Mary and Boz married on Y2K New Year's Day. I believe it was on the stroke of midnight. It was a feat for my mother Bunny to stay awake. She never waited for the big ball to drop in  New York City and did not appreciate Dick Clark's supposed facelifts.

My sister Mary and Boz married on Y2K New Year’s Day. I believe it was at the stroke of midnight. It was a feat for my mother Bunny to stay awake. Typically, she never waited for the big ball to drop in New York City and did not appreciate Dick Clark’s supposed facelifts.

Some of you know that I am late to the Facebook phenom. My cynicism sprang from a notion that I would become a pawn in Mark Zuckerberg’s marketing machine. However, I ignore the ads on my page, and I have the power to say “no” to anyone who tracks me to hawk goods and services. What I do see are many shining faces, especially those of my family.

Whatever your faith, there is a season of goodwill and the love of family on holy days.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year,” Ebenezer Scrooge promised in A Christmas Carol.

Well written, Mr. Dickens. If I could keep that promise, then I would feel humanity to its depth.

My sister—Mary Hamrick Bostock—lost her husband to cancer last June. They lived every day, especially this past year, following Mr. Scrooge’s exultation.

Great distances kept me from knowing Robert “Boz” Bostock as well as others did. But I felt the outpouring of love from all who knew him well. A minister with a mouthful of platitudes did not lead the memorial service. Rather, it celebrated Boz’s passion for life, his wife, his children, and other family members; his over-the-top wild humor; generosity to his community; and his faith in friends, employees, and, yes, in general, humankind.

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Mary and Boz's joyous family with their niece Sarah Frances (far left)

Mary and Boz’s joyous family

After the service, Mary and her family threw the epic (one of his favorite words) blast of a party. A blues band and another party band rocked the house while guests shared tasty bites, beverages, forever memories, some tears, and smiles all round. Boz went out with a bang—as he wished.

At the time, I jotted a memory of this great soul; those closest to him could have done better. He and Mary are my inspiration when I feel low, fearful, or out of sorts. I share it with you, though I willfully exceed the expected length of a blog post (300 words):

Boz led a life—61 years too short—that magnifies all that is good, true, loving, and fun. Yes, fun. Almost anybody who has lived on or ventured to St. Simons Island, Georgia, probably knew Boz or at least sampled his one-of-a-kind culinary delights. His restaurants—with a “flip-flop friendly” attitude—packed crowds year-round, with standing room only during spring break and summer vacation.

934915_531894236846510_834662685_nSure, his food was a draw, but the warmth and wit of this laid-back, ever-grinning, eye-twinkling chef kept the folks coming back. Boz opened Gnat’s Landing, a clever take on St. Simons Island’s very short (would some say miniscule?) airstrip in 1999. He breezily welcomed visitors with local craft beer and a huge basket of fried pickle chips, and then the food-a-thon was on! Out for Boz’s good time, everybody loved and laughed about his menu—at least half of it fried food. In fact, they ate it up while lounging under the covered porch or dancing out back to the tune of the funky band-of-the-evening. Even on hot Georgia nights, the revolving fans and mason jars brimming with sweet iced tea kept it cool.

Across the way, quirky Bubba Garcia’s—where American style mixed with Mexican flair—opened a few years later. It sported Boz’s uniquely humorous brand. It’s the only place in the world where people could down the $8,000 Margarita (another story for another day) and treat themselves to Choco Taco dessert.

"If there is a tomorrow when we are not together . . . there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think . . . but the most important of all, even if we are apart, I'll always be with you."

“If there is a tomorrow when we are not together . . . there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think . . . but the most important of all, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.”—A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Who was this guy anyway? An island heritage, a loving family man, and everybody’s best friend—even back in the day when he taught and coached at Brunswick High School and later when he ran Father Goose, a toyshop loaded with gag gifts.  The strings of colored lights festooning Gnat’s Landing may go dark tonight. But somewhere in heaven, God is munching a fried pickle chip and swigging extra sweet iced tea (or sneaking an imported beer).

Boz happily welcomed his great-nephew Sam before Christmas last year.

Boz happily welcomed his great-nephew Sam before Christmas last year.

Hold closely the ones dear to your heart. And laugh. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.

3 thoughts on “What’s Love Got to Do with It? Everything

  1. Catherine, this touched my heart. Thank you for sharing with your friends Robert’s beautiful spirit and reminding us all the meaning of celebrating the Christmas season.

  2. Loved every word! Will sooo miss Boz this Christmas at Big Canoe, and all his humor! But somehow, I feel he will be looking down on us, not missing a word….and loving every minute of it!!! XOXO

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