Yesterday Stephanie and I attended a funeral for the 22 year old son of dear friends of mine, Rick and Suzanne Norris. Tripp had lived down the street from me while we lived in Panorama Brook in Vestavia. I had had a few cases against Rick over the years and he, like me, was always easy to deal with in getting cases ready for trial. We had never had a cross word with each other in any "confrontational" situation we may have found ourselves in. And although I don't know Suzanne as well, I've never heard an ill word about her from any source.

I had only met Tripp on a couple of occasions, since he was three years ahead of Dee at Vestavia and, I guess 5 years older than Catherine. Like I'm sure his parents raised him, Tripp was courteous and humble, always ready with a "yes, sir!" whenever i spoke with him.

At the funeral it became apparent that Tripp was a very special young man. The service was filled with music, mainly performed by members of Tripp's band, as well as by his talented cousin. To say that the music was moving would be a great understatement. The talent and musicianship of the players shone through the Church as though God himself was there, and of course he was.

At 22, Tripp was still at that point in life where decisions are the hardest. I remember the lyrics of an Alice Cooper song that said, "I'm 18 and I don't know what I want." The song went on to say, "I'm 18, I get confused every day. Eighteen. I just don't know what to say."

I wish I had known Tripp better. All I know is that he had many dear friends who will miss him. And he has his parents and family who will grieve for his loss. And we will all wonder what might have been.

I hope that every parent who has a child, whether age 10 or 30, remembers to assure their child that no matter what problems the child may be facing, they will ALWAYS be able to talk to their Mom or Dad about it. They most know that they are never alone.

May God bless and keep the Norris family and all Tripp's friends during this trying time.