Monday, October 09, 2006

RIP, Virgil ....................

My neighbor, Virgil, died the other day. He was only 89 years young. He and his wife, Florence were sort of our adopted grandparents over the last 6-7 years. He would sit on his porch and watch me work around the yard and garden and then come over and laugh and make fun of me about "How much work I put into running around in circles".

We raised chickens together. I bought, fed and raised 'em and he butchered. Worked pretty well as I like raising and eating chickens and he and his wife didn't seem to mind the butchering 'em. I get 'em up to size and he'd come over and catch 3 or 4 and then bring back 1/2 of the days work in a freezer bag a little while later. I always have a shitload more eggs than We need, so they always got some. Worked out nice.

I planted a bunch of strawberries a few years ago and they really took off. He'd be out there every morning picking a big bowlfull. His wife would bring over home made shortcake.

He still drove all the time, in his little Chevy stationwagon. Not fast, mind you. He'd be out on the highway going to or coming from town with a string of angry people behind him as he went 35mph in the 55mph zone. Never fazed him a bit.

He taught me the proper way to catch chickens. You need a heavy gauge piece of wire about 3 &1/2 feet long. Make a hook on the end about the size of your finger in width and about an inch and a half long. Then all you have to do is snag 'em by the leg and you got 'em. Easy, once you get the hook bent to the right size. I had mine to big. Of course, he laughed at me about that too.

He laughed a lot and that's probably one of the reasons he lived so long. If local lore is to be believed, his long life could be attributed to the fact that he never did a thing to wear himself out. I don't know about that, except to say that his wife was still working a full time job at the age of 80, when I first met them. You decide.

I worry about how she's gonna do without him. She's in pretty good shape but ..........

Virgil died a few minutes after midnight, on October 7th. He and Florence were married on October 6th. 68 years ago. I don't have a hell of a lot of faith in the family to do right by her. None of them seems to have acquired her work ethic or honesty.

He was a good ole' boy and I'm gonna miss him.

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