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October 24, 2020
…. Then God Broke The Mold
UPDATE: My Dear Friend Albert Long entered Heaven at 9:41 AM Wednesday morning – Oct 28, 2020.
Danny Lotz, Clyde King and Billy Graham were on-hand to greet him …
For those who have been on-board BobLeeSays for all or most of its 20+ year run, the name “Prince Albert” will be familiar. “PA” is among a select group of reoccurring characters that provide continuity and familiarity to My World.
I use “Prince Albert” Long as a literary device that those “who do what I do” often employ.
NOTE: Albert will read that last sentence and call out to “Jackie” … “What does BobLee mean I’m “a literary device”?
To which “The Henderson Hottie” will patiently reply: “Albert, he’s saying how much he likes you” … “Oh… HA, Golly, where does BobLee come up with this stuff?”
If I had a nickel for every time “Prince Albert” has asked me “How do you come up with this stuff?” Referring to my bubbling cauldron of eclectic musings.
To which I always reply – “Albert, how can you take one verse of scripture and talk about it for 45 minutes without notes?” … “I dunno… I just can”. … “Me too” I reply.
Q: Where did the name “Prince Albert” come from?
A: That old kids game of calling someone on the phone and asking “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” Referring to a popular pipe tobacco from the mid 20th century named for Queen Victoria’s husband. If they say “yes” you reply “… better let him out”.
I explained that to Albert ten years ago to which he replied … “HA, where do you come up with this stuff?” … sigh.
Several months ago Albert was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. Despite the best efforts of UNC’s Lineberger Clinic … Albert Long will be leaving us soon… “very soon”.
Albert entered Heaven at 9:41 AM Wednesday – Oct 28, 2020.
He will be joining his dear friends Danny Lotz, Clyde King, Billy Graham and others in God’s Eternal Embrace. By 89, one has been preceded by many dear friends. It will be a most joyous reunion for sure. A most fitting reward for a Life well lived.
Two years ago at the funeral of a mutual friend, Albert tells me “I have my funeral service already scripted. It will last an hour and a half.” … Vintage Albert Long.
“YIKES! I exclaimed … For Heaven Sakes, Albert Please build in an Intermission … and put all the good old-timey hymns in the first half.” … “You think I should?” … “Most Definitely” I noted. …
Will he take my advice? Better bring a couple of 5-Hour Energys just in case …
Three weeks ago Albert’s granddaughter Caroline asked a group of Albert’s friends to prepare short videos for his upcoming 89th birthday. Circumstances have created a greater urgency.
I have chosen to post this tribute now rather than “after”. Yes. This is unusual. My dear friend Albert Long is unusual. It’s how it should be, I think.
89 years ago God created Albert Long.
Then God Broke The Mold.
It was October 1990… the same weekend that Cincinnati defeated Oakland 4 games to zero for the 1990 World Series …
Either Bobby Bryan – or it may have been Clyde King or both – invited Blondie and me to A Happening at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk.
It was a full-blown 3-ring Happening with the basketball juggling girl … the Carnegie Hall piano guy … probably a couple of midgets on unicycles and … a partridge in a pear tree ….. and ALBERT LONG ….
I thought at the time you were a most unusual fellow … I was right of course but did not know HOW unusual a fellow you were then … always have been and always will be. Unusual in a very special way …
Being several bubbles out of plum myself I gravitate to “unusual people” …. Maybe that is the secret to our 30 year friendship ? … A Friendship that I cherish.
When The Lord decides … “Albert, I need you Up Here. The Heavenly Money Plate is a mess. Only YOU – my dear and faithful servant – can straighten it out. … It is Time to Come Home.”
When that time comes … and assuming the weather cooperates … 100s maybe 1000s will turn out to say their Good Byes.
I know IT will be noted because It has to be BUT… I hope that…
Carolina’s One/Only 4-Sport Letterman
is NOT at the top of the long list of Why We Will Never Forget Albert Long.
Your contributions to your fellow man over the ensuing 70 years since “The Kid” matriculated at UNCCH have been so much more impactful.
You HAVE MADE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE ALBERT … to more lives than you will ever know. … both with your Lay Ministry … and as a Friend.
I am proud to count PRINCE ALBERT as My Dear Friend … and to join many others in this celebration.
God Bless My Most Unusual Friend – “Prince Albert”.
More of BobLee Says … HERE!
Have you read … I Never Imagined That ... You really should.
It WILL be on the final exam.