Pam Thornton was one of those who responded to my column. She said, "Buster's spirit goes on in the hearts of all his Andover High School classmates of 1966.” Each year Pam plants flowers at his gravesite. She says, “I do it to honor the person we all knew as outstanding, funny, and lovable. We will never forget him."
John Parisi, Buster's classmate and fellow athlete, said, “Buster was a great guy. I spent lots of time with him in football and baseball. My fondest memory of Buster is when our coach made us run the bases after we played terribly. The entire team was kept running until dark because Buster kept making jokes, cracking everyone up."
His teammates respected Buster so much that he was able to get away with that, and I’d bet the team became more of a team after Buster made them laugh together when they were dog tired.
James Nicoll, who was several years younger than Buster, wrote to me that Buster was like an older brother to him. Buster knew how important an older brother could be because he had one of the best, his older brother, Cal.
It would be too long a list to mention all of Buster’s close friends, but I’ll mention a representative group. My younger brother Bob and Buster were best friends; Tom Margerison was Buster’s co-captain on the high school baseball team; Dean Eastman became the teacher of the year for the entire country; Arthur Ricci, was a long-time Andover police officer.
Buster’s friends were good kids, kids with a moral sense of right and wrong. Yes, they had their “playful” moments, but they knew where the line was between morally right and morally wrong, and they stayed on the right side of the line.