In Memory

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

I have not seen or heard of Brian since I bought french fries from him when he owned the famed L & A Drive Inn.  I believe I drove in one day in my mid-twenties, and his smiling face popped out the window.   Imagine my surprise when he announced he was the owner!  He said it was such a cornerstone in his youth that when it was up for purchase he just couldn't pass it by.  That must have been, I don't know, 1984?  Sounds like a good "year for the books."

That is my last memory of Brian.  Earlier ones were when he worked the concession stands for the basketball games, and he would gamble quarters with me out of the cash drawer.  Probably shouldn't admit to that, but alas, it is the truth.

Kathy (Countryman) Bounds

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05/11/11 11:25 AM #1    

Cindy Atkins (Bergman)

I am so sad to hear that Brian has passed away.  Brian was my first "boyfriend".  We "went together" during 9th grade at Wilson.  We spent a lot of time together and Brian was a really sweet and FUNNY guy.  I have many memories and a few pictures of Brian-I will have to dig them up.

One of my favorite memories is when Brian's sister Pam drove him to my house to pick me up for our first "date".  We went to the 9th grade end-of- the-year dance.  I still have those picture and the dress that my mom made for me.

Brian Wilson and Brad Munden and I were buddies all through ours days at Wilson.  It is very sobering to me that they are both gone!! 

Gone-but not forgotten! 

Cindy Atkins

05/16/11 03:14 PM #2    

Gary Webster

My thoughts go out to all those who were close to Brian. Most of our childhood was spent going to the same schools and being involved in sports. Brian was in many of my classes throughout the years and our little group of future Cadets had a lot of fun. From our younger years, two early memories stand out; In about the 5th grade Brian had some pointer puppies he was trying to sell. I was a willing buyer, but my mom wasn't. We did our best sales job, and eventually found homes for the puppiers. In the 7th or 8th grade, Brian sold me his prized baseball cleats for five bucks. He was a pretty good catcher, but his feet had grown and mine never did. Those white size seven Adidas with black stripes were classics. Rest peacefully will always be as close as a memory.

05/16/11 06:21 PM #3    

Deb Bernhardt (Hurlburt)

Thanks everyone!  Your memories shall live on forever as will mine.  Of course, I have good and bad but will try to hold the good ones closer to heart.

Brian and I met in the Spring of 1977 when I was a Sophmore and he a Junior in Mrs. Baileys 3rd trimester English class.  We started dating just a few weeks after the trimester started. Those blue eyes had me at hello.  We were married in August of 1982.  We had 3 beautiful daughters and everything going for us! In 1990, we bought the L&A Drive In and had a LOT of fun with that!  We cleaned it up and renamed it the "New L&A Drive in".  We still had the "hotsack" of homemade fries and soft icecream cones that were to die for, and named a burger the "Cadet" burger so it was affordable to the high school kids!  We had sockhops with Wolfman Jack (Frank Taylor ?) up on the roof with the radio station (KMWX) and the vintiques parked all around.  We even gave away a trip to the Bahamas! Would've loved to have gone their ourselves but we We were so busy with each us having our fulltime jobs, the drive in, and the 3 babies.  But that's when the addictions started to become priority over the family, and it was the beginning to our end.

In December of 1994, we divorced.  His addictions got in the way of visitations or time spent with the girls.  Sadly, our girls never saw much of their dad for this reason.  Occassionally at Christmas time if he was over at his moms but that's about it.  I would love to say that he was a great father, but I can't.  I know he thought of the girls, but not enough to make things right with them.  Financially or emotionally.  He, along with his family, were always in denial that there was a problem.  But now that problem is fact, and the fact is, is that he died from alcoholism.  Scherlosis of the liver.  It was very sad to see him in the hospital knowing that he didn't have long to live.  He didn't look like the same man that I fell in love with so many years ago, and the girls didn't see him as the father that they once knew.  He had had some strokes a few years ago.  That was hard enough for us to see and watch him try and recover from.  You'd think he would've woke up from that.  But it didn't stop him.

The love affair we once had ended so sadly.  In a way, I would never wish upon anyone!  Because I left him so many years ago, I am not allowed to grieve as if he was never a part of my life or our daughters lives.  But he was!  I truly gave him the benefit of the doubt so many times , and saw hope when no one else did.  But enough was enough, and I had the girls to think about. 

Brian donated his eyes after his death so hopefully he was able to help someone improve their life.  Brian was cremated, and at this time I have no information as to when a memorial service is planned.  I will do my best to kept the class posted once I know any details.

Thank you for remembering the "Hair Bear" we all enjoyed and loved so dearly.  May he rest in peace and without anymore pain.  God Bless!

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