Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Sunny day

I just saw where Sunny Holloway passed away and it reminded me of some fond memories.  It was good to hear he had been another who served in the armed forces and in particular WW II.   It really does seem that everyone in that age group were in the war.  I remember Mrs. Shumate telling us how difficult it was with so many men and boys gone to the war.  Well back to Sunny.

I suppose we all know very little about each other and it seems that I knew very little about Sunny other than what my dad said about him and the times I talked to him.  The last time was about a year ago at one of those Shidler events which as I recall was Dorothy Kelsey's funeral.  It sure seems like a lot of wonderful folks have passed away.  Paul Kelly being one of the recent ones.  He was a good guy and a great supporter of Shidler.  Anyway, the last time I talked to Sunny he was just as friendly and jovial as ever.  He spoke about the bull he bought off us and how that was the best bull he ever had.  Just for your information, it was a Hereford bull and one of the longest bulls I ever saw.  The bull must have had an extra rib or two because it was particularly longer than normal.

The first time I remember meeting Sunny was when he pulled up to our farm and ranch with his bulldozer and truck.  He came to clear about 40 or 60 acres of timber so we could put it into bermudagrass on Beaver Creek.  He just knew how to push those big trees and roll them into piles without getting killed.  If you don't know it, it was a very dangerous work when you are pushing down trees that are 40, 60 or even 80 feet tall.  Some were so big that dad would cut them with a chainsaw and then Sunny would dig up the stump.   Some of those stumps laying on their side were taller than me.  It was interesting seeing a transformation of the land so that we could plant grazing material (grass) on it.  In fact I remember our first planting was a bermudagrass sprigger being pulled by the tractor and I would stand in the back of the trailer shoveling bermudagrass sprigs into the planter.  It was a dusty and dirty job as the wind would blow the dirt and trash back in my face.  I actually kind of liked doing this job because it was fun to see the outcome from our work.  We also planted lespedeza and sweet clover to hold the dirt along with turnips until the Bermuda caught on.  It took a lot of faith that all this expense and work would pay off but it did.  I think we had the best bermudagrass in the county because our land was almost entirely bottom land on Beaver Creek.   Now for those city folks, bottom land is land on the bottom, not on the rolling hills.  Typically bottom land would be more fertile and have more moisture as there was generally a creek in those areas.  Land on a hill typically had shallow soil and held less moisture and therefore did not provide as much necessary elements to grow grass.  Sunny was part of all of this and I don't remember how long he worked at our place but it seemed to me he spent the entire summer at our place.  Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much it cost back then to own and run a dozier (bulldozer)?

My dad really liked Sunny and always spoke of Sunny as a good person and good neighbor.   Back to my point about knowing a man and what they were really like.  I cannot say I knew Sunny well but if you took what people said about him plus your own encounters, Sunny must have been a great person and one of those great Osage men who had grit, a great smile and a good heart.

What better way to be remembered.
Thanks for sharing your time with me,

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