JT's Blog

Things that interest me, things that happened to me, things that I like, even some things that I don't like...

Guy Goodman Was a Good Man

I’ve been wanting to write a post with this title for a long time, because Guy Goodman of Palmyra, Pennsylvania, deserves to have an article on the web that says nothing but good things about him.

But I’ve been putting it off because I really don’t have that much to say. By which I mean, I didn’t know Guy very well or for very long.

Guy Goodman in a picture that must have been taken at least ten years after I knew him

It was in early 1977 that I made the move to a house just outside Hershey. I was still working for my parents at their hardware store in Richland, so I had about a 40 minute commute to and from work. Yeah, I didn’t really have a plan in those days. Well, the plan was just to get out of Richland. That I accomplished.

My housemate was Dan Bixler (the house was his), and we hit it off well the first few months, before we inevitably began to get on each other’s nerves. But in the meantime I met some of his friends, such as Guy Goodman.

Guy was in his late 50s and was a prominent florist in the region, having won numerous awards over the years. A veteran of World War II, he had just recently gotten divorced from his wife with whom he had a son and a daughter. He was now either gay or bi, but who bothers with labels?

He had apparently done quite well for himself because he lived in a large beautiful country home with a pool, which is where he staged a lavish party to which Dan and I had been invited. This was in mid-summer so the pool was constantly splashing with revelers until evening came when the entertainment arrived in the form of a Totie Fields impersonator.

A week or so later we stopped in to thank Guy, and we had a nice chat with him. He was basically an easy-going fellow. I think I only saw him a few other times; he probably stopped in at Dan’s house at least once or twice.

Now flash forward to the fall. I had finally gotten a local job at Channel Home Center (based on my experience working at my parents’ hardware store), when after about a week, some fellow plowed into the side of my car, totaling my car and sending me into the hospital for several days. (I really should finish writing about that incident one of these days.)

Anyway, when it came time to release me from the hospital, I needed someone to drive me home. I could have called my parents, but they were 40 minutes away. The logical person to call would have been my housemate, but Dan and I were now seriously getting on each other’s nerves, and I was making plans to move out. For some reason, even though I just barely knew him, I decided to call Guy Goodman.

He seemed to be delighted that I did. He rushed right over. And he didn’t mind taking me on a detour to stop off at Channel to see if I still had a job there (I did). In short he just seemed happy to be helpful.

And that was Guy Goodman. He really was a very good man. He was always trying to help people.

And that’s what led to his downfall.