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‘Should Write A Book’
Wake Stories from A Rocky Mountain Memorial Service: 10/1/22
© 2022 James LaFond
APR/24/23
Last night I had the honor of attending The Colonel’s Sister’s memorial service. There I met his brother and four other sisters, a handful of old timers, a big towering nephew and watched various children circling the cookie table and playing o the stairs of the Red Barn, a town even center under my favorite mountain.
I was introduced to a handful of people and then realized I was giving The Colonel a lot of explaining to do so ducked for cover at a table with my hosts. There, a rotation of visitors would stop by and exchange stories and seek updates on life.
At a certain point, The Colonel’s brother said, “There are so many stories about the old timers, someone should collect them and write a book.”
I kid of felt guilty then for being such a weirdo that a normal conservative rural American could not read one of my books without thinking me insane, precluding me from doing such biography work lest my taint adhere to a record of an American life. This is the beauty of America: urban, progressive, Shitlib, blue-haired lesbians and rural, conservative, Christian, family men will look at articles like Roe Jogan and NoAssTodayOleg and both think me evil or insane. Pointing out to one side that a certain race of people commit most of the nation’s crime, and to the other side that the nation we live in commits the same international crimes as The Madman Dictator of the Year, well, I can’t write for the Normals, not for either warring faction.
But I have to honor the family as a ghost at least with a few snippets of tales heard last night. After all, they have accepted me as “the crazy writer,” have fed me, patted me on the back for ditches well dug and been more hospitable to me, particularly in the dark light of my literary crimes against humanity, than my own family.
Bob: “That man there, in the chair was the toughest man in the valley. When he was still working there was nothing he would not or could not do. One night, I’m at the top of Parley’s [about 9,000 feet] with [name forgotten] chaining up tires on a truck. It was a cold son of a bitch! God, was that a miserable time. But I couldn’t complain, because this man here, he was changing out a transmission in a truck out in the same blizzard. It had to be done, so he did it.”
Brad: “Oh, Dad, when eh was sheriff young people respected him. He wasn’t perfect, he did drink. One of my friends told me this story about being out drinking and driving and Dad pulls him over. He did not ask for his I.D. No, he grabbed him and pulled him out through the window and said, ‘You little son of a bitch!’
“Then he drives him home, takes him to his house, tells his mother to keep the keys and let him go back to get the car in the morning. Well, of course, when he got there the next morning, the beer was gone. Everybody knew Dad drank it.”
Dallas: “Well, one time, I was speeding or something, broke some rule of the road, and up comes your Father. He pulls me over and he’s drunk, real drunk. He was too drunk to write the ticket. So, he had me write the ticket and sign it.
“Of, course, I went to court, went before the judge, and gave him the ticket. He new that was not your Father’s handwriting. So, he asked me about the circumstances, and I complained, and he picked up the ticket and tore it in half and I was free to go.”
What nice folks gathered in the wake of a Lady’s passing. Many of them limped or were bent and otherwise had signs of machinery related injuries. Noting that the older grandchildren are generally college bound in this area, I was reminded of Andrew Jackson claiming that he had been a soldier, so his son could be a farmer, so his grandson could be a poet.
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