Writing about Cecil Geer is like trying to sip water from a firehose.
Geer's obituary makes it look like he was a telephone man and a deacon in the Baptist Church.
That's like saying Abraham Lincoln was a failed businessman who occasionally practiced law.
Cecil Geer lived his life so far out on the edge, his loving wife, Myra, had to sometimes pull him back.
She'd say, "Cecil, you've got me and the boys. You've got to be a little safer."
He loved motorcycles, friends and family, the Great God Up In Heaven and fun. That list is only a starter.
Friend Mike Elliott said of him, "If God didn't have a sense of humor, he would never have made Cecil Geer."
The stories go that he drove teachers crazy from an early age. One band director became so frustrated, he threw a drumstick at Geer. That's not the kind of drumstick that has chicken on it.
He loved his sons, Jason and Justin, and loved to make chores into games.
"He came home with two rakes and said, 'Boys, I've got a surprise for you. We're gonna have a contest. Each of you has a rake. This is your part of the yard and that over there is your part. Now, let's see who can rake the most leaves the fastest," Myra remembered.
She and the boys stood for nearly five hours as the line passed at Padgett and King Mortuary after his death on Halloween, 2016. Jason said, "I never dreamed I would spend five hours laughing as people came to remember my dad."
Myra said she heard so many stories she had never heard before about his tomfoolery and his kindness.
"He wanted people to feel good about themselves. He was always encouraging people," Myra said.
Jason also remembered a precious trip he and Justin took with their dad to Peru, "It was two weeks in which we did everything any of us wanted to do and talked about whatever we wanted to talk about. I think it lit the fire in him for travel which he and Mom did a lot of after he retired."
Lifelong friend David Wilkie said he was not a domineering type, not bossy. "When we were on a trip together on motorcycles, he would say to me, 'Now, you plan tomorrow's trip,' but I'd tell him that he knew the territory better than me. I didn't mind following, but he wanted to make sure I didn't feel bossed around."
Wilkie's sister, Suzanne Bridges, remembers enjoying their friendship. "If I got to play with them, it was just great," she said of their shared childhood.
They rode bikes, dug crawdads out of the creek, and played pickle.
"We played a lot of pickle. You know how you get one guy running back and forth between two bases and the other two guys are throwing the ball back and forth trying to tag the runner," Wilkie said.
That love of fun is hallmark Geer. Myra laughed to remember his racing Hootie the Owl, the mascot of the Forest City Owls in diving flippers. Wilkie said, "They weren't regular swimming flippers. They were big diving flippers about this long," and he held his hands about three feet apart. "I thought he was gonna die running in those things." Myra said he practiced in the driveway trying to run in those huge flippers.
Geer served a number of years as booster club president for the Owls.
Myra said the two of them attended many parties in years passed, but often told Geer, "They don't care if I come or not. You're the one they want at the party."
Wilkie remembered that he left a party once for son Justin's birth, but came back later, once he knew baby and mama were okay. "Then he and Steve Gilbert did their Blues Brothers routine." That created more hilarity.
In April 2016 multiple myeloma struck. The painful debilitating cancer put Geer and his family into a six-month tailspin. But they were never alone. A strong faith in God and the support of family and friends were vital. Max Champion, Jim Clement, and John Kozma provided rides to treatment, but Myra said, "I hope I don't leave anybody out."
He would always take them Davis Donuts. "I urged him to fight it. I told him we have lots of sunrises and sunsets left to see," Myra said.
Various treatments helped, but nothing helped enough.
In the end this giant of kindness and fun lost the battle and moved on.
"He belonged to God. I just had him on loan," Myra said.
But if you have read this far, you have only touched the tip of the iceberg.
"The ink wasn't dry on his drivers license when he asked to borrow his daddy's car," Wilkie remembered. "Me and him and Freddy McFarland went down to Low Bridge Road. It wasn't paved back then and he made it through the first curve on that dirt road, but on the second curve he ran off the road. It didn't damage the car, but all that dust we had stirred up on that dirt road came right into that car. All three of us were out there with our t-shirts off wiping down the family car, getting rid of all that dust."
Wilkie remembered two other car wrecks and two motorcycle wrecks that he and Geer shared.
He joked, "If I'd a known I was gonna have to go through all that, I'd a never come around Cecil Geer." So not true.
Bridges also said that Geer as a child organized his playmates to bury him in the ground with a breathing tube. The plan was to charge other children to come and talk with the man buried in the ground. When mailman Charlie Proctor came home for lunch he threw a fit and got Geer out of the ground as quickly as possible. She said, "Cecil was always highly creative."
Another piece of the story involves yellow butterflies and their lighting around the passing of Geer's sister, Sandra, and his own passing. Myra told several stories of seeing those yellow butterflies and feeling the presence of the dearly departed. She also said two days after his passing that Geer had appeared to her in a graphically realistic dream.
"He sat on the end of my bed and held my hand and we looked into each other's eyes and remembered how much we loved each other," she said. She's not 100 percent sure it was a dream.
Jason had a similar dream and told Myra that he told him he couldn't hug his father. "You won't be able to feel me," Geer told his son in the dream, but Jason said, "Oh, Mama, I did feel him."
When Wilkie's daughter, Hope, a long-time buddy of Geer's, got married, Geer said he just had four words for the new bride, "It's huge. I'm serious."
What better advice to get on your wedding day?
Wilkie also remembers what he called "an epic motorcycle trip around Colorado. We were standing on one of those peaks and he said, 'Watch this.' He turned to this couple with young children and said, 'Would you y'all like to take our picture?' The man said, 'Yes. Where's your camera?' Geer said, 'Oh, I just thought you might like to take our picture.'" He added, "If you'd like to take our picture naked, just go ahead and take your clothes off."
Wilkie also said, "He was a caring kind of person to look after other people's feelings. Never overbearing."
Myra said, "Kevin Tuttle worked with Cecil. He told me what a great teacher Cecil was."
Myra said the grief was awful in the beginning but after a while she knew, "Cecil wouldn't want me moping around feeling sorry for myself." After just over four years, she is able to smile and laugh and tell great stories. She said, "I sure do miss the fun."