By Dusty Middleton
Gunner Jones grew up a normal kid, right here in MillTown. Successful as a teenager, you know, good enough in school, good at B-ball (he played two years on JV at Mill High), some nice girlfriends throughout those years. And all through that Teen Age, he surrounded himself with a crew of nice kids. The normal ones, you know. None of those gang bangers.
Gunny, well, he had his fun and he worked hard, too. He was, it seems to me, pretty good at whatever he put his mind to. And growing up into a young man, he done well.
By the time Gunner Jones was thirty he had landed himself a salaried job. He was a manager at our local ‘fancy’ hotel. He was a nine to fiver. Ironed slacks, nice shirt, and a close shave. Started his monthly payments on a clean new car.
He got comfortable.
Within that year he locked himself into marriage. Making a family. Buying a home.
That easily could have been Gunner’s story. Simple success. No Drama and an easy happiness. A well-shaved, well behaved part of our neighborhood.
I guess, well, it always catches you off guard when life gets weird. Things shake and roll like there’s an earthquake underneath us. And people get shook up, you know?
Well then, there you go. I guess that out on this coast, it’s bound to happen.
Gunner Jones, back then, in those hotel days, he was an ok surfer. Your standard goofy foot. You know how they are, not technically brilliant. But, they can draw a nice line. Gunner, he could huck himself down into a set wave and stand tall through that first section. Maybe throw in a good turn. You know, competent enough.
He surfed here and there as his hobby, you know, his sport… but Gunny Boy never made much of his time in the water. It was just part of his life.
All through those formative years, everyone here agrees, he was a nice guy. Law abiding.
In my opinion, in this town, Gunner Jones, was, and always will be one of the good ones.