Here’s an email I sent out today to many folks I’ve worked with over the last seven years.
Almost seven years ago, I answered an ad in the Dispatch looking for people to escort funeral processions. I knew the history of the situation, but applied anyway. What a ride it’s been.
I’ve run almost 3,500 processions in that time, for babies, centenarians, and everyone in between. I’ve ridden in conditions I wouldn’t have been driving in. I’ve seen the best and the worst Central Ohio has to offer in the way of drivers – sometimes in the same procession!
I’ve seen twelve-year-old boys stop playing, and hold their hands over their hearts for a procession.
I’ve seen entire communities turn out to honor a fallen soldier.
I’ve seen tearful “Thank you”s mouthed through countless windshields.
I’ve escorted processions with tow trucks, motorcycles, fire apparatus, police cruisers, school buses, classic cars, and more. I had a low-boy lead a procession once, and have seen a flatbed tow truck used as a hearse. I did one with a horse-drawn hearse, too.
Through it all, I’ve been privileged to work with some of the best colleagues in the profession. I might be biased since I’ve helped train most of them, but I think it’s safe to say this is one of the best groups of escorts in the country.
Likewise, I’ve been honored to work with some of the best funeral directors and support staff in the industry. I’ve made many friends over the last few years, which makes it hard to move on.
I’ve got many fond memories from my time in the funeral industry. I’ve done one-car processions, and 140-car processions. I’ve worked with almost every police department in central Ohio at one time or another. It’s been an honor to run some of the processions I’ve run, and I’ve always tried to give every family the same professional effort to get them safely to the cemetery.
What’s been the best part? There are too many to name. I loved being able to say, “I’m getting paid to ride a motorcycle.” Introductions were always interesting, as well. “What do you do for a living?” “Oh, I’m a male escort.” Watching the kids wave to me from limos and cars was always a kick, too.
This blog isn’t going away. I plan to continue talking about the industry, and I’m hopeful that my friends and colleagues will keep me informed about local news. So, until next time, be safe.