Editor's Note: Townhall.com wanted to commemorate 2005 in a special way that recognized the people most responsible for advancing the causes of freedom, limited government, prosperity and traditional values. That's why we're proud to announce our first annual Citizen of the Year. During the week of December 26 we will run extensive features on three finalists, and on Friday, December 30 we will announce the Citizen of the Year as determined by your nominations and final decisions by the Townhall.com editorial staff. Check back all week. Enjoy!
It must have been close to midnight when we saw the fight breaking out in the crowded parking lot. Scott and I were hurrying to get back into my 1970 GTO, so we could speed home and beat the twelve o’clock curfew. Although it was July, it was a school night for me. I was in summer school for flunking English again. The year was 1982.
Bubba wasn’t your typical Bubba from Texas. He was a surfer and all the girls said he was a good-looking fellow. He must have been. Every one of his girlfriends was a knockout.
And for a surfer he packed a pretty mean punch himself. He won almost every time he fought. But, this time, he was breaking up a fight between two people he didn’t know. He was playing the Good Samaritan, and it almost cost him his life. He had only been out of high school for a few weeks.
Right after he stepped in between the two men, we saw him hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. It didn’t look like he had been hit by a punch. That’s when Kevin ran over and saw the blood coming out of his jugular tube. It was spurting out with every heartbeat. “He’s been cut,” he screamed. He screamed it several times.
Donnie was lightning fast getting the truck over to the spot where Bubba lay bleeding. Steve threw his body in the back and then he hopped in with him. I remember the sound of blood gurgling as he tried to hold on. But his life was slipping away. He was only eighteen.
Donnie drove the truck through a fence marking the boundaries of the drive-in movie theater in southeast Houston, Texas. Then he cut across a field to take Highway 3 to the hospital in Clear Lake.