A Father's Farewell
  by Roger Nash


In Memory of Justin Andrew Nash
March 4 1982 - May 27 1999

I know that every parent thinks that their child is special, and they are. Each new life brings to this world a uniqueness all it's own. Every child fills the hearts of their parents with hope; the hope that they will have a good life, a life that is filled with love, happiness, peace, success and contentment.

I knew very early in his life that Justin was very special. His thoughts ran deep. He was one of those children that would question and challenge everything he was told, but yet he would choose to do what he was asked to do. When he was young he displayed an unusual talent for drawing. He could, by age six, free hand draw the popular comic strip characters such as Garfield, Snoopy, Mickey Mouse, etc. He amazed people that saw his drawing and would become upset when they thought that had he traced them from the comics. As he grew, his art became the medium by which he expressed himself. He would spend hours upon hours drawing. And as he reached his teen years, he showed an uncanny ability to see both the humor, and the hurt, in the human existence. He seemed to express through his comics, (perhaps because he was very quiet and shy), that he felt more like an observer of life than a participant, and felt the need to express what he observed in his art.

He has submitted a lot of comics to the syndicates that publish cartoons in the newspapers, but as of yet has not had anything printed in any major publication. I was very pleased when this paper expressed an interest in publishing these samples of his work. He was always drawing about the experiences he had in life. At the time he drew these cartoons he was working in Gardendale, first at the Delchamps grocery, and later at Guthrie's restaurant.

He had spoken with The North Jefferson News about working as an intern to get experience in the publishing business, and was to start sometime after Memorial Day.

It was not to be. On May 27 1999 Justin along with 3 friends from the Gardendale church of Christ, Connie and Josh Beddingfield, and Jeannie Crawford, was killed in an auto accident as they returned from a trip to Gatlinburg.

I am proud of my son, he was one of those young men that any man would be proud to call his son. He was a good young man, handsome, thoughtful, polite, and very intelligent. We had worked together for the past few years restoring our Jade Green 1969 Mustang. I am sure many of your readers saw him driving it around the Gardendale area. When he was driving that car was probably the only time he didn't mind standing out in a crowd. He was getting to that age that every father looks forward to, when the boy turns to a man, and the friendship and respect for each other deepens.

I know his good Christian example will live on in the hearts of many, and I hope the humor of his comics will be enjoyed by all.

Justin, your mother and I love you and miss you very much. You will never be forgotten. In the words of King David, "He can not return to me, but I can go to him", so until then, Farewell my son.