Sunday, January 20, 2013

Double Blessings

It can't get much better than this as on Friday I got a call from A.J. Jacques and we got to visit for a good while and then on Sunday Shouna and I visited Crossing Community Church to see a friend, Keith, get baptized and as we sat down I looked over and saw Rocky Arrington.  Now I don't know how you count your blessings but getting to see two of the Shidler greats in just a few days which I had not seen in years was absolutely incredible.  Of course A.J. was in my class and Rocky was a few years older and in my brother's class of 68 (or was it 69 and he is one year younger than Larry).

A.J. and I got to visit how growing up on the farm and ranch was such a blessing and how lucky we were to have such a great class of folks to grow up around.  He reminded me that Steve Chrisco who just passed away a couple of weeks ago worked with him hauling hay for a couple of summers.  I reminded A.J. of when we staying with his uncle Ralph one weekend and he showed us how to train his bird dogs.  Ralph had two liver headed pups which he was training to be quail hunting dogs.  I had never been around someone who knew how to train bird dogs so it was a real treat to me.  Ralph would put a quail wing on a fishing line and after placing the bait he would turn the dogs loose to find the bait/wing.  When they would get up on it he would talk them into going slow and being on point.  He would also move the bait and see if the dogs could follow instruction and move up on it slowly to another point.  Well if you did not know it the challenge with young pups is like getting Johnny Payne to sit in a desk for an entire day of school.  Now if that does not tell you anything think of Robin Williams the actor and how hyper he is.  I guess I just spilled the beans on Johnny Payne to his kids, as if they did not know it.  Back to the pups and Uncle Ralph.  Those pups were more fun to watch and seeing the patience of Uncle Ralph was really cool.  As a side note, Really cool means the same thing as Rad or For Real and I probably don't know the current words used but it means it was a good time and fun to watch.  That weekend was the same weekend I learned to eat eggs over easy and they were great (referring back to an older story).

Anyway it was great seeing A.J. and hearing about his family and career but most of all it was great to hear his calming familiar voice and knowing that he was and is another example of the character of the Osage.

And now Rocky.  Wow!  I have not seen Rocky in about 30 years.  He looked the same but his hair was a little whiter but his demeanor was the same.  Friendly and matter of fact but affectionate in that he was glad to see me and I was glad to see him.  We gave each other a bear hug and talked for a few with a promise to get together soon as we live relatively close to each other.  Rocky was a a great baseball player in high school and if I recall correctly he was short stop or second baseman.  Uncle Gene and Aunt Connie came to every game and I would have to say they were very strong fans.  That means they could get loud and frustrated with some bad calls.  Interestingly enough Rocky became an umpire and referee while in college and throughout most of his career as a school teacher.  I may be wrong but as I remember Rocky was not a great student but what I have always heard was he was a great teacher.  That might actually be the reason he was a good teacher in that he knew what was needed to teach students.  Today he is the principal of an alternative school for troubled kids.  I bet you he is excellent for them.  By the way Rocky and Stephanie are my cousins (Steph is Rocky's sister).

Well it is now Sunday late afternoon and I am going to my weekly prayer group which has been meeting for about 11 or 12 years.  This is a side note to this whole story but the nice thing about this group is we have hung together for so many years.  That reminds me of the one thing I told A.J. and that was the only regret I have about high school is I did not keep in touch with a number of the folks over the years which were so important to my growing up and being part of who I have become.   I treasure the memories of so many great folks in my class and the classes before me and after plus the teachers and parents.  I have always hated to agree with a democrat but here is one place I agree with Hillary Clinton, "it really does take a community to raise a child".

What do you learn in the Osage?

  • it is a great place to grow up
  • sometimes it is hard to keep in touch with old friends but take a step back and enjoy them even if it has been 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years.
  • Friends are friends forever

Thanks for the time,
gary@thepioneerman.com

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