A Friendly And Familiar Face, Dustin Will Be Missed Greatly On Main Street
The downtown open house is this coming Saturday on Main Street. It is the kickoff shopping event for the holiday shopping season. Almost 20 downtown businesses are participating in the promotion going on from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s a choice of grand prizes, either a recliner or a flat screen TV. And each store has a prize also. The Rotary Club is having a chili cook off in the Pocket Park at Main and Wagner Streets. That’s from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and five bucks will get you a bowl of chili, chips, and drink. I hear there are already 30 chili entries in this judged cook off. I had three bowls last year (I’m a large individual, okay) and every bowl was different and delicious. It will be good to be downtown this Saturday.
Usually at about this place in the column I’d write about the powers of shopping local and how your money is a multiplier. And those powers are real, but I’m sitting at the keyboard feeling pretty blue and powerless. This is like my 400th column and I don’t think I’ve written about as sad a topic for our Main Street as I am about to.
Last Sunday morning Dustin Buice died in an automobile accident. Dustin worked at the BTC for the last two and half years, graduated from Water Valley High School last May, and was a student in the start up class at Base Camp Coding Academy since June. He was 18. And the last several years he was on Main Street just about everyday. I know you have seen him if you did not know his name.
Dustin was the young man with a healthy mop of brown hair seemingly always covered by an arched bill, dog-eared ball cap – worn askew. Under that cap was a forehead obscured by hair nearly hiding a set of curious blue eyes. He had one seemingly supercilious eyebrow raised in what seemed to be a constant state of inner amusement. A prominent but distinctive nose, a pair of asymmetrical ears, and an easy smile made him a young person easy to instantly like.
But he was more than just friendly looks and an easy polite mannerism. He worked hard. Trust me, if you last two and half years at the BTC working for and with Alexe, Dixie, and Lori, you got to be a hard worker. You have an inner toughness and possess, figuratively speaking, a thick skin.
You see he was quite a young man. I know you have seen him. The last few months he was upstairs at the Base Camp Coding Academy. I don’t know if you know this, but all the students there are on scholarship, it was a very competitive deal to be in the first class. Dustin was in that class, meeting everyday, all day, during the week and still working part time downstairs at the BTC. He spent most of his time in that building on Main Street.
I don’t know why these things happen. I mean accidents. I mean technically I do. But why his vehicle went across the interstate median and was hit by two other cars? I don’t know, could be one of a million reasons. And at this point it doesn’t matter, it just seems without reason. And not only Dustin, but also a lady from Grenada also dying because of the wreck. It’s hard at the moment to say anything other than deep sorrow.
If you know his brothers and sisters or his parents or grand parents, let them know what you thought of Dustin. He was a good young man. I’ll miss greatly not seeing him on Main Street.