This weekend I received news from his son Stan that Floyd Bolin of Alexandria, Minnesota, died on February 24th, just three weeks shy of his ninety-ninth birthday. I interviewed Floyd at his home in Alexandria, Minnesota, in May, 2003. He was 94 years old then, slight of build, ramrod straight, a little hard of hearing, and he was funny. I was a few minutes early when I arrived for the first of my two interview sessions with him. I rang the doorbell and got no answer. I knocked loudly and got no answer. The door was not locked so I opened it and called Floyd's name and got no answer. I stepped into the house a couple of steps, far enough to see Floyd in the living room, tipped back in his recliner, a blanket on his lap, his eyes closed, an alarm clock on the blanket. "Floyd," I said, "it's Tom Montag." Floyd opened his eyes, looked at me, looked at his alarm clock, and said, "Tom, you're a few minutes early. You'll have to go away and come back at 4:00 p.m." That's the sense of humor Floyd had, and that quick.
Some time later, after Floyd had moved from his home to an assisted living complex in Alexandria, I stopped to see him as I was passing the city on I-90. I knew his room number, but couldn't find him there. I waited in the hallway, and waited some more, then someone told me that Floyd was downstairs in the rec room. I went down there. The question is: was I gladder to see Floyd, or was he gladder to see me. He was a special man.
Floyd's was an interesting life and the world is better for his having spent some time amongst us. I'll miss his laugh, that twinkle of his eyes, the joy he seemed to take in everything.
Rest in peace, Floyd Bolin.