EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 12, 2013

Letter: Give me a wave in memory of Joey

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — To the editor:

Those of us whom were fortunate enough to come of age in North Andover during the late 1960s, ’70s and early 1980s lost a little piece of our lives on Feb. 11. Joey passed away from cancer in Florida!

Certain people come into our lives and for some reason impart certain attitudes and experiences. They leave us a better person. Emery Joseph Bazin was one of these. He truly was an “angel on earth.” He lived with cerebral palsy his entire life with courageous dignity and taught us many of life’s lessons with utter ease and contentment. With no disrespect meant for Coach Licare, I learned more from Joey being our teammate than from a legendary hall of fame coach. For this I say thanks, Joey!

Joey was most comfortable riding his bicycle. No matter the weather or distance, his trusty transistor radio no more than an arm’s length away and his rear baskets full of cigarettes. I can’t say with certainty how many times he was struck by cars — more than a few — but I can say his guardian angel must have had a few drinks before bed some nights. The Red Sox were to Joey what rain is to grass. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, the first person I thought of was Joey. He left us in the mid-80s to live with his sister Linda in Florida, yet his presence to those whom he touched stayed strong.

When I, and I am sure countless others, graduated from high school, I received a card in the mail with $2 signed by Joey. To this day, it has stuck with me for its pureness. The innocence that Joey carried his entire life reminded us all of what we once were.

To honor Joey in the most unfiltered way, I ask all who have read this to wave to me in my street sweeper or loader as I work for the North Andover Public Works. Joey loved to wave to people, and felt by receiving a wave back it showed you liked him. Joey, I loved you and will carry your lessons for eternity.

Christopher Spanks