I live in a sea of estrogen.
Two dogs; two cats. A woman.
Then there was the other male.
Another dog named D. J. Aka ‘the boy’, Don Juan, Boo-ba-do, Boo, Boob.
He kept the females in line. If the other dogs took to barking at miscreants outside (who had the indecency to walk down the public sidewalk in front of the our town house) he would bring up the rear, barking from under the toilet!
His other jobs were stealing others food, and inspecting hind ends for cleanliness.
He has been losing his hearing, sense of smell and sight for some time, making more like a Roomba than a dog. And he loved falling asleep wherever you needed to be!
He just turned 16!
The past couple of days he simply refused to eat.
He left us last night.
He was a good dog…
My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last. He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer. The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube. Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.
I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981. More than being a boss, he was a dear friend. We saw each other through the stuff of life. I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.
He was always honest and true to me. His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it. Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.
He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting. Even in his final days, using a walker. And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.
He didn’t want a somber funeral.
I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration. A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.
Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!
I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety, hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill. Which Bob sold to me in 1983.
I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model. My roommate calls her Bobbie.
It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed. She remains a tack driver.
Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.
And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.
Bob sold her to me for a pittance. He never profited from guns he sold to friends. And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)
It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.
So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday. Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)
Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob. There was tears and laughter. Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.
Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name. All of us using guns once owned by him!
This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table. Bob hated having his picture taken.
(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region. Usually, we see a few. Yesterday, they were absent.)
But we who loved him were there.
are nothing new!
(courtesy of Bobbi, in part, from her musings on 9/11…)
Barbarians of one stripe or another had been after blowing up highly-visible stuff in the States for a good long while — a Federal building in Oklahoma City, a van-bomb at the World Trade center, and so on back to the 1886 Haymarket bombing in Chicago. There’s no shortage of fools who think blowing up innocent people is a suitable method to effect change.
It’s not. It’s been shown to produce nothing but death, injury and anger. And we’ve now got the TSA bringing miniature, audience-participation versions of the Stanford Prison Experiment to every passenger airport in the country.
Here’s what I can tell you: when violent people initiate force against the innocent, more people step up to stop them (Flight 93), to help the victims (police and firefighters at the World Trade Center and Pentagon), and they do not count the personal cost; they step up. Civilization is stronger than barbarism. It is not destroyed from the outside.
So remember the heroes, probably none of whom felt especially heroic in the moment. Remember the people who do what needs doing. And don’t kid yourself that it won’t happen again.
Considering we remain at ‘war’ (in one degree or another) against these forces (both foreign and domestic) after 15 years, it’s good to hear that while said barbarians keep testing (and sometimes breaching) the fences, there are folks out there who continue to step up to do the task at hand. Thank you, Roberta, for reminding us.
Three quotes come to mind:
While it may be apocryphal, Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said (supposedly paraphrasing Orwell) “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” – General George S. Patton
Well, here we are.
Another @&%$)_+%$^ holiday anniversary date!
My roommate wanted to ‘celebrate’, as she believes I was a good, loving father, and my daughter is unfortunately not capable of celebrating me.
My roommate is a good person.
Molly would have been 33 this Father’s Day. My imagination leads to thoughts of an alternative future, wherein she married, had children, and a career. And I had grandchildren.
It was not to be.
She loved animals (during her time here we had two dogs, three cats, a hamster and two goldfish). She wanted to become a veterinarian.
I also imagine a house filled with numerous animals and kids, running willy-nilly, screaming and playing.
Sometimes, a good imagination is not a good thing.
To all the good Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day.
Remember to hug them and kiss them and tell them you love them. Daily.
Because, you never know.
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #17 of 22)
My good friend (and shooting buddy) Marlo challenged me to put something on my blog. Normally, I wouldn’t pick up the gauntlet, but in this case, it’s too important not to!
(FROM HER FB PAGE)
9 of 22 — I’m doing #22pushups to raise awareness that American Veterans have been committing suicide at an alarming rate. I was called out by an elementary school classmate, a West Point graduate, and proud vet, Bill Nygaard I am again issuing a choice of challenges, either the 22 pushup awareness challenge OR donating 22 hours of service to veterans in any way you can. So, for the #22pushups, up next is… Kim Cox, Master organizer, fellow psychodramatist, and fellow happily married woman. (Modifiied push-ups model accepting help to reach your goals.)
If you accept, copy and paste this status to each of your videos. Video yourself doing 22 push-ups to your ability level & post the video to Facebook and other social media using the hashtag #22pushups. The goal is to raise awareness for our service members battling this demon.
Please spread the word that veteran suicide is not the answer. A new video will be posted for each of the next 13 times, new people being challenged each time.
Thank you to Project Welcome Home Troops that does great work helping our veterans overcome PTSD. http://www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22Kill
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable!
And, in case you forgot…
Nothing more need be said.
Except perhaps a silent prayer of thanks.
When I was visiting my Sister on Christmas Eve (accompanying my ex-wife, who is close with my niece and grand-nieces. Yeah, it’s weird, sometimes!) my ex told me she had been visiting earlier that day with her (deceased) youngest brother’s children. One of whom had a child, who married someone already with a child.
So, they are a step-parent, and by extension, I found out I am a great, great uncle!
Now I’m not particularly close to these folks, and don’t know over half of them, so my social obligation is limited.
But the label! And the fact it’s 2016! That makes me….(carry the one)….(removes sock to count toes)….going to be sixty-four this November!
And my ex already took note that I am graying (Thanks, M!)…
But, I am grateful for all I do have, and the fact I am on this side of the dirt nap.
So there’s that.
Tempus Fugit, my friends.
The third rock from the Sun has gone ’round yet again. And it’s reportedly now 2016!
Happy New Year?!
I must report, not much has changed for me in the past 365 days, save increased age and perceived infirmity.
Same (low) disability income, same crummy car, same rental room.
BUT, I continue to have friends and family, who support me spiritually, morally, and sometimes even financially!
And that has made all the difference!
My thanks to you all – you know who you are.
Who knows? Perhaps this year will be even better?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
A number of folks close to me have pre-deceased me. And with some (not all) it would be nice to have another 15 minutes.
Or a day.
My Mother, who passed when I was in the Second Grade. My maternal grandfather, Gramp, when I was 24. Of course my daughter Molly, when she was 12…
And a couple of others.
But, I’ve never had that kind of spiritual connection. And I’m a little envious of those who have!
My friend Bob – who saw a vision of his mother in the moment of her passing. Five miles away!
A girlfriend who saw ‘something’ resembling my deceased dog Ilsa wandering around my house.
My daughter had a childhood friend and neighbor who awakened one night to see a black cat outside on her closed window sill. My daughter loved cats. And the cat opened her mouth and laughed, sounding just like my daughter! Of course, this could have been a dream – except the girl’s mom ran into her room and exclaimed, “I heard her, too!” This was about one month after Molly’s passing.
But for me, bupkis.
I like to think I’m a spiritual guy. Perhaps I am, but just not in that way.
Some gave all…
ALL who gave all in service to The Republic.
It’s more than barbeques, people!