I heard today that Miss Peggy Landry died last week. I was truly saddened by the news because she and her husband J. W. Landry are my friends. I don’t have many friends and every time I lose one, my ring of friends gets smaller and smaller. I don’t make too many friends these days. I guess I have turned cynical after fighting life’s battles for years – losing most. Sometimes I feel like just sitting down and giving up. But giving up on life would not find favor with Miss Peggy, so to honor her life, I will not give up on mine.
I first met Miss Peggy in Panama City Beach at Shoreline Villas, about seven years after she had married Mr. Landry. It was nearing sunset one bright, summer, Florida panhandle day and I noticed Mr. Landry taking a small table out to the beach. Curious, I watched unnoticed from my condo deck balcony as he made a couple of trips back to the house for two chairs, hors d'oeuvres and a pitcher of martinis. He placed the food and drink on the table and then turned back toward the condos and motioned for his queen to appear.
There she came, down the stairs of the condo as if entering a giant ball room. After I got to know her better, I learned that the world was her ballroom and life was a never-ending gala. As she gracefully walked across the sand (something awfully hard to do) to meet her lover, I noticed the sparkle in Mr. Landry’s eyes and the smile on his face. As Miss Peggy arrived at the table, Mr. Landry helped her into one of the chairs, as only a gentleman can.
There, the two sat drinking cocktails and sharing laughs, watching the blinding sun go all the way down into the deep blue water. The two were truly in love. I could tell before I spoke a word to either of them.
As my vacation week passed, I ventured upon their sunset ritual and struck up a conversation. It was easy to talk to Miss Peggy. Mr. Landry – a stoic by nature – wasn’t a big talker, measuring his words carefully and economically. He was a lawyer by trade and a poker player by passion, but Miss Peggy was a socialite – convivial and outgoing.
After talking with the two for 30-plus minutes, I felt like I had known Miss Peggy for years. It took several conversations to get to know Mr. Landry. As the years passed and our friendship blossomed, she never changed in her upbeat attitude. When we talked, it was like I was the only person in the world.
I guess I have known Miss Peggy and Mr. Landry for about 18 years now, and even as time started to press hard on both of them, the lovebirds never seemed to lose their zest for life, or for each other. Mr. Landry is now in his mid-nineties and has trouble getting around. Miss Peggy made it through 88 years. I remember he and Miss Peggy used to love to go to the local library in Panama City Beach and look at books. They would bring the books back to the condo and read, side-by-side – watching the sun go down.
Now the sun has sat on Miss Peggy and I am sure Mr. Landry’s days are numbered too, as with all of us. I already miss her and one day I will miss him too. I cry when I think of a world without Miss Peggy, and I cry for Mr. Landry.
Causes John Haslam Supports
I support the Constitution of the United States of America.
I support St. Jude's Hospital.
I believe in GOD.