Missing a Buddy Named Steve
I attended a wonderful celebration of remembrance for my good friend Steve Stanridge at Lithia Springs UMC. Most of the stories shared there I had already heard from Steve himself over the last 30 years. The speakers did an excellent job of capturing the essence and aura of my close buddy “The Always Right Reverend Steve Stanridge.”
One description was “a funny guy.” That reminded me of Steve when we got loud and laughing at one of our last Annual Conferences together in Athens, Georgia. I asked him where he was staying in Athens. Steve said, “I am not, I like my own bed at night…every night.” I said, “Steve, you mean to tell me you drive back and forth every day?” He responded, “I get on my motorcycle and Go! I will be home in an hour and fifteen minutes.” I said, “Steve, come on! You live in Powder Springs, there is no way you can even get to Atlanta in an hour!” Steve said, “You want to bet?” I said, “No, sir! I know you are crazy!”
Another description was “a bold-in-prayer kind of guy.” Brother Gary Crawley and I ran into Steve in his biker vest and clergy collar at Daddy’s Country Kitchen in Acworth a few months ago. At the end of the meal we stood together and prayed for each other in boldness right in the middle of the restaurant. I will always remember how we shut the world out and talked to our “Big Daddy” in a restaurant called Daddy’s.
The last description was “a real, unsophisticated guy.” The last time I saw Steve it was a short while back. He was rambling through Mama’s barn for something that he put there a couple of years or more ago. It was an outdoor-propane heater with a long shaft in the middle and a huge space-saucer disk on top. I lifted it into his truck for him and told him that we need to tilt it and run it long-ways over the top of his cab. He would not have that. He wanted it strapped in the rear corner of his truck bed straight up! I argued that it might catch a limb, but he said no way. I said the wind might catch it and pull it out, but he argued that he was going to drive very slowly. I countered that he was going to make the other drivers mad driving slowly. He said, “Who can be mad at a guy with a flying saucer over his truck? Besides, people need to slow down and enjoy life…(then loudly) BESIDES THAT Mike Shearon have you ever known me to not do something I wanted to do simply because I might make somebody mad?” I quietly roped and tied the spaceship in place the way Steve wanted it because there was NO winning an argument with my buddy “The Always Right Reverend Steve Stanridge.”