BAWDEN: George Ray, Jr. "Binc" gets written up in Davenport, Iowa's Quad-City Times the week of his death
Quad-City Times, Davenport, Scott, Iowa, Thursday 6 Mar 1986, p. 4, Bill Wundram, asst editor and childhood friend.
Binc...Binc BAWDEN had whipped the odds so many times that I thought he might make it this time. But he didn't, even if he was only 61.
He needed all the luck he could get, but it ran out. A telephone caller said, "Binc's dead - raise a toast." I lifted a glass and through the misty Scotch and water, remembered rollicking Binc. Few minds were as fertile and as much fun. [see his Christmas stories blog]
Through old clippings - a lot of stuff he called tripe - I followed the plucky life of the Davenport ad agency boss: The good stuff, all the awards, snapping up the big Hardees account and United Guaranty - and the ironies, too. Like the time exactly 10 years ago, when he sat down for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the first time he had eaten food in two years. He had been plagued with a punctured esophagus, an accursed thing that nearly did him in over-and over again. For two years, he had been fed through throat or ostomy tubes. Finally they implanted some of his colon in the punctured spots and he could swallow again. But he laughed, gagging: can you imagine your colon in your throat?
He fought the Grim One so many times that he printed his own script - money redeemable in hospital coffee shops. He'd hand them out to visitors; I have a desk drawer still stuffed with them. 'In St. Luke's We Trust' [now Genesis East], with Binc's picture, and Binc - Secretary of Treasury.
Binc - wotta offbeat monicker for a guy named George. It's for BAWDEN, Inc. Always a company man, even to the sobriquet.
Binc was one of those rare people from whom you never parted without feeling good. Even when he felt lousy. How many people can you say that about, pal?
His body withered from this and that, seventy-five pounds is a lot to lose, but he always returned to work with a twinkle, running the big show of Advertising Communications, Inc. a full-floor of media fun an dgames in Davenport's Union Arcade. He pretended to be working les and golfing more with guys like Doots PRIESTER and Dinny WATERMAN. Binc was a great golfer with a fine rolling hook. A year ago, just out of the hospital, he whammed a 73 at Davenport Country Club.
Fragile and wan, his clickity-click mind never quit working and haranguing. Just the other day, he blasted the Times in a letter to the editor about not checking out the claim of an anti-leaf-burning whiner who said airplane pilots looked down on the Quad-Cities as a great smudge pot.
Beyond the wit and creative mind, past the layout board, there was a crisp business head and the sharp pencil, and the proof-reader's eye. In advertising, life is always a rush job. That's why Binc must have chortled at the program his agency did for his funeral service this week.
The prayer of illumination was spelled with three l's. Smiled the Rev. H. Al Wirtz at First Presbyterian Church "I think Binc did that just for devilment - his last rush job."
The older I get in this racket, I find myself writing more and more sad songs about the people who make the Quad-Cities a great place to live. Binc BAWDEN was one of them.
George Ray BAWDEN, Jr. was the son of George Ray and Viola DUVALL BAWDEN of Davenport, Scott, Iowa. Binc died 1 Mar 1986 in Davenport of leukemia...a hold-over from his esophagus surgeries. George Ray Sr. was the son of George Washington and Jennie ELDRIDGE BAWDEN. "Binc" was this writer's father.