In Memory of Bob Finical
Bob Finical was one of the nicest, most generous and loving men I've ever met. Having been accused of a haneous crime he was tried in the court of public affairs and committed suicide after trying to reach everyone he knew - a last cry for help - perhaps someone to say, "Hey Bob - I love you - your worth a tiny bit more than crap". Bob needed a guy like Bob but couldn't find him.
As far as memory serves me correctly the crime Bob was accused of involved a minor - we think of this category of crime in the worst light - and it is - however; there are different degrees. From what I can gather - there is a graze (perhaps accidental) different from a sickness which we in society need to "allow people to put themselves to sleep for". Let me put it this way. Socrates was accused of "corrupting the youth"; perhaps this was physical and perhaps the jury was a group of children. Because Bob died - the file is closed, but, KSPR reported the category of crime by its legal name and cited Bob's response to the accusation as "I don't remember, I was drunk".
Bob faced a sincere battle with alcoholism. The other night, I went to Waxy O Sheas and met a group of 20 people outside the Bar after closing. They were outraged to learn that a single mother was forced to pay $45,000 for destroying city Christmas lights - something the town fathers - for some reason - can't seem to be outraged about. What I'm gathering - a theory - is that people who suffer from alcoholism - some - have a hard time dealing with the cruelty of the world and our inability to love one another. In the purest sense, Bob truly knew how to love his brothers. Perhaps; there are people out there who don't understand how to hate enough to function well without alcohol in mainstream society. Perhaps; they lack the wisdom to share what God has for his children - fighting to create a happier world.
Sometimes, a reporter is a very lonely and hard existence. Luckily I can cloak sins behind my priesthood - I try to give people the opportunity to fix things before I let the public know what is happening on the street. On some days I get yelled at my multiple people while I'm walking down the street for failing to make people aware of happenings I'm not aware of.
I'm not God; I just work for him. I hope I can be a good employee. Usually, I fall short.
People who don't know me fear me and I hate it. Sometimes, often, I walk into a room and men of stature shudder in fear - their hearts convicted with their own shortcomings - afraid of what I symbolize - truth. In fact, I've been warned that as we speak their are men plotting my death. Do I fear? No. I know love; I have no fear. If they're successful; I will get to meet my father - no longer having to tread through the valley of death. I guess you could say I am the Obi-1-Kanobi of journalism. Truth is - I search mens hearts.
Bob had one of the greatest hearts I've ever witnessed. He always made me feel loved. He always came across the room to give me a hug, he always had time to sit in his office with me for as long as I needed to talk about whatever I saw was important. In fact, everyone that knew him loved him.
If nothing else, know this, Mr. Finical loved his children with all his heart - more than any man I've known. Leave Bob to control the conversation and he'd talk about his children for hours - I've listened to him do this until the sun rose.
Being without them for just a day made him ache - real pain. While the accusation was on the table he didn't get to see his kids. This was a thousand deaths for him.
Mother Teresa said, "No poverty in the world is as great as feeling unloved". She also saw America as the most impoverished country in the world. Eric Farris made a statement to me when he was making a bid for Branson Alderman, "We're suffering from a deficit of kindness". Hmmm....
There was a way about Bob - he always considered those left out - he made people feel important. He challenged authority everywhere and humored the judges of the 38th Circuit with 17th Century common law.
He traveled the world with many popular rock bands and even once setup a casino in an African Country run by a dictator. Though Communism and fascist Regimes number many in the world, Bob helped me understand something that I never considered.
We often think about the right to vote as a choice many people in the world don't have but Bob helped me understand something - What if you didn't vote? Bob said someone would come to your house to find out why you didn't cast a ballot.
By the time I got around to research Bob's case; I found out something that broke my heart. Bob would have never been convicted. This isn't to say the accusation was true or false but rather the standards of the American legal system wouldn't have provided the grounds for a guilty verdict. Bob would have been found innocent but his honor was permanently damaged - Bob couldn't live with that.
I don't want to take anything away from the experience of the accuser, and wouldn't give away the name - this person shouldn't be blamed. On behalf of Bob; whatever he did - I'm so sorry. If there is anything I can do to right his wrong - it would be my honor and priveldge.
To Bob Finical's children - your father was a great man - who loved you very much. Even in death he thought of you - prepared a path so you could have a good life. Your father is with his father-in-heaven. To the Finical children - Don't think for a moment he isn't looking after you. He loved God and he prayed for you always. If there is anything I can do for you - tell me - because I would love to do the great things your father did for people without any effort at all.
In a sense, we all killed Bob. My part was by accident. A still small voice told me to call him; but, I was afraid he wouldn't have wanted to hear from me. Sometimes - a reporter is the last guy you want to hear from. I didn't call him out of respect thinking his phone was buzzing off the hook. It kills me inside to think - I could've been that one guy to say - Hey Bob - I love you.
We all have moments we want to die though nobody ever admits this. I wish Bob wasn't successful at it but I know I'll see him one day again and hear that laugh that could kill the sadest part of my heart. Bob - dude - you've brought me so much joy by just being a friendly guy.
If we can, If Bob ever did anything nice for you - perhaps you could let his kids know one day - that they have a father who wants them to know - they still have one in heaven.
I've been meditating on this Psalm #68 - and think it relates to the "Christmas Light Girl" too:
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in his holy habitation.
If you feel prompted; call someone today who has been kind to you - who you haven't told you love in a while - you could accidentally save someone's life.
(If someone has a picture - email it to me for after post editing)
Prepared by: Darin Codon