My Tribute to My Cousin,
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My cousin, Douglas Hines, most recently went Home to be with the Lord. The news brought great sadness to my heart. Douglas was so much more than a cousin to me. He was my neighbor, when I lived in Lincoln Park. I could probably throw a stone from my backyard to his backyard. When I ran for Town Council, in Year 2000, Douglas was my Campaign Manager. And, Douglas and I loved to throw the frisbee around with his good son, Kenny.
Douglas had the gift of encouragement. I remember the evening of the big candidates’ debate. I was a nervous wreck. There were so many issues and situations that I had to show expertise on during the debate. The debate was held at the Lincoln Park Community Center. In the foyer, leading to the main room, before the debate started, Douglas could see that I was in a state of mind that made Don Knotts look calm and serene.
Douglas gave me a little pep talk in the far corner of the foyer in the Community Center. Douglas’ attaboy talk gave me the encouragement to face that big crowd and hit the ball our of the park, during the big debate.
It’s hard to explain, but Douglas’ home was very closely situated to the back field, Earl’s Meadow, of the old Mabey Homestead. I remember when I would go over to Douglas’ home to set up my campaign trifold, campaign posters, or other campaign literature. Douglas was a great help to me. And his lovely wife, Sandra, was always there with a glass of lemonade for the two of us.
I will never forget the great Saturday afternoon, when Douglas, his son Kenny and I threw the frisbee around on the quiet street in front Douglas’ house. Douglas and I were like kids again. It was just a great time and we all had a lot of fun. But that was Douglas. He could take something as simple as a frisbee and turn it into a medium for an afternoon of fun, kidding around, and returning to kiddom for a couple of hours.
Douglas was incredibly smart. I remember talking computers with Douglas. He taught me a lot of little shortcuts on so very many different computer packages. He knew all the tricks, to make computer life easier. What I liked so much about Douglas is that he could take some complex computer program and explain it in very understandable terms.
Douglas’ brother Art lives in The Villages, the very same town that I live in, down here in Central Florida. When Douglas came to visit his brother, Art called us up and invited us over. Art was just moving into his new home.
My Mom, Janet, my sister, Patti and myself sat around Art and Fran’s living room with Douglas. We sipped iced tea and lemonade and had a great old time remembering the good old days. It was just a very magical moment. Looking back, I cherish it now even more.
When I read of Douglas’ passing, my heart sank. I felt a great sadness. Douglas was a great man, a true gentleman. Even though, I no longer lived near Douglas, I felt he was still a neighbor of mine, even after I moved to Florida. I shall miss Douglas very much. He shall be missed very much, by a great many people.