about 8-9 months, when I saw him coming out of a dumpy little one bedroom apartment on Central Avenue and getting into an old Ford. Later that week, I was in court and saw him there. I told the court officer about seeing him in the nice house a few months before then in the dumpy apartment, and the court officer immediately told me "he got a divorce."
Lesson number one John Edgar taught me even though I didn't even know him: Have a nice house and get a divorce, you then live in a dump.
Lesson number two John Edgar taught me without even knowing him: Back in the early 70's, there was a Harley Davidson dealership on Inman street that was rumored to be in financial trouble. One morning, it caught on fire and quite a crowd congregated to watch. I happened to be standing next to the guy with the bushy eyebrows (I still didn't know is name), and I guess at that point in time, we had never talked or even spoken. I guess in a sudden moment of wisdom he felt he must share, John turned to me and out of the blue said, "show me a failing business and I will show you a fire every time." Sure enough, I've learned over the years John Edgar knew what he was talking about.
In the next year or two, John and I met formally, and struck up a friendship that would last over three decades.
During his single years, he was at times quite the lady's man. In fact, we could really not figure out what he possibly had that attracted good looking women. Some people must have thought they knew since it was rumored around town back in the 80's a couple of different men had hair transplants - not on their head, but to their eyebrows!
In the early 90's, John finally married again, and Denis Collins threw a big party at the Elks Club. Three of us that were John's friends were asked to say a few words and give him a bit of encouragement about his new marriage. To be honest, I thought Dee, his new wife, needed much more encouraging than John did. I thought carefully about what I could say, and I finally decided to present Dee a small gift that might help her cope when it came time for that first "intimate" moment with John - a bottle of "No Doze."
John finally retired several years ago from Bell and Associates, and decided to move to Nashville. Richard Banks was kind enough to throw a big retirement dinner at the Elks Club for John. I was asked to speak again, and I had a chance to talk publicly about my friendship with John. I talked not only about that, but also about the fact that if I ever had a need for legal assistance, and needed a very, very good attorney, I could always depend on him. All I had to do was call him and ask, "I need some really expert legal advice - you think you could use your influence to get me in over at Logan's office?"
After moving to Nashville, John took pride in bragging about the fact he lived next door to country music legend Jim Ed Brown. In reality, Jim Ed lived on a huge estate, and John lived in one of the 30 subdivision houses that bordered one side of the big estate. One morning, however, John walked out into his back yard, and Jim Ed Brown was working on the fence that bordered John's back yard. John Edgar talked to Jim Ed for several minutes, and found they had one thing in common: They both had the last name "Brown."
Some of you may think I am being crude speaking of the dead in this manner, but this is how John and I always spoke to each other. In fact, after he retired, I always referred to him as "you old senile fart." Those of you who knew John Edgar know I can't print what he called me.
John was pretty thick skinned, but one thing really seemed to bother him after he retired from Bell and Associates: His name was dropped from the letterhead. He often said, "they have two #%#@~* dead men on their letterhead, but dropped me off altogether."
Hopefully, being dead will meet Bell and Associates criteria for adding poor John Edgar back on their letterhead under the "Deceased" category.
I, as well as many others, are going to miss John Edgar. Even after he moved to Nashville, we would talk often, and a group of us would get together to eat with him every few months. John Edgar was a very intelligent man, but had intelligence combined with an over amount of common sense and wisdom.
The mold was surely broken when John Edgar Brown III was made, and all of those who knew him sure feel the loss of his passing!