Saturday, December 24, 2011

End of an era

Nothing lasts forever, does it?  Nope, that's the Fact of Life.  All things must pass--sooner or later.  Thursday's funeral and burial were but one milestone of many we shall pass on this road we travel now.
Actually, the services went quite well.  There was no friction over the Eulogy, either in verbal or written format.  Everyone loved the 16-page written version.  I made it through the verbal version until the final sentence before becoming emotional.  People said they really liked my verbal eulogy in the giant cathedral.  I said, "Well, I broke down on the final sentence." They said, "Well, that made it real."  I suppose they are right.  There were quite a few "criers" at the services.  oddly, none of the "criers" were relatives.  Nope, the relatives stood stoic.  The "criers" were mostly retail store clerks who Mom had befriended.  I'd guess 20-30% of the visitation numbers were store clerks who just showed up because they read her obit in the paper.  Some of them really cried hard.  She had a way with folks and really made them feel special.

So many people came up to me to ask how Mom died that I got tired of giving stock medical answers.  About the fifth person who came along I changed my answer and stepped back and raised my eyebrows and said, "well, you know, I DO have INSIDE information!"  Their eyes would grow wide and they would take a step back and wait.  Then I said, "Well, you know, Mom went to sleep and an Angel came and whispered in her eaer, 'Mai, we're having a half-off sale on air fare to Heaven' and she just signed on right away and didn't even take her carry on baggage with her."  Most people laughed pretty hard on that silly story since they knew Mom was the Bargain Hunter's Bargain Hunter.  Who knows? Maybe it was true for all I know.  The church ladies made a great lunch for all of us and I took home the leftover.  I've been eatin' funeral ham and potatoes ever since Thursday.

Well, it's the end of many eras as we said up top on this blog post.  In the last 24 hours the end of my "antique gun collector" era came to an abrupt end.  As I've noted on various posts about me and my Dad, our biggest "father-son" thing was roaming the musty old 1950's gun shops of rural Indiana.  It's what we did every Saturday that we could.  I started using my allowance money to buy old muskets probably as early as maybe 1955-1956, at least as far as I can recall.  What you see in the photo above are the last of the Mohicans as far as those old muskets are concerned.  I pulled eight old firearms out of the house yesterday and sold three within a couple of hours right out of the back of a pickup truck in couple of parking lots.  It was as Old Style gun selling as gun sellin' gets.  It sure brought back a lot of memories.  Anyway, I took the ones you see above up into my room late yesterday and proceeded to market them online on the Indiana Gun Owners Forum.  Bam, bam, people started hittin' on like hungry fish and a guy is coming by to give me $1000 for what you see above.  I probably sold 'em too cheap but I don't care--when it's their time to go, it's their time to go--it's the end of an era after all and there's no reason or time to look back as we march on to the future.  That was zen, this is now.

That gun owners forum has been a real gift to me.  A total stranger I met online invited me to go shooting at the local indoor range with him and his friend yesterday.  They paid my range fees and gave me pistols and ammo to shoot for no charge.  They were classic Indiana Men--very humble and very kind. I appreciated them so much.  Another guy I've met online but not yet in person doesn't have any family so he's invited me to a private shooting range on Christmas Day.  It will be just him and me having ourselves a holiday shootenanny.  He's providing the firearms and the ammo, too.  These guys are helping me feel right at home.  It's great and I am very happy about it.

Well, my landlady needs a tire fixed on the truck she's letting me use.  I took it to her tire place yesterday but it was too busy to get in to have it fixed.  That's not much of a story.  The real story there however, is that those Good Ol' Boyz working in that tire shop have set their minds on a goal--a world record.  It's as if Woody Harrelson (a famous honorary Hoosier who starred on the TV sitcom "Cheers") had come to life in the bays of that tire shop.  Those guys were so excited about their tire ball.  What the heck is a tire ball?  Well, there's a sticky label on all new tires that most people simply tear off and put in a trash can.  Not these guys.  They are using the sticky labels to make a tire ball.  Right now the thing weighs 75 pounds.  Their immediate goal is 500 pounds--so big it will have to have it's only trailer so they can park it out front and a "point of pride" for The Tire Barn where they work.  When I went ga-ga over their tire ball, their really lit up.  Nobody had paid any attention to it but me, so far, and I went ape over it and they loved it. I mean,  this is CLASSIC Hoosier-mania.  People here get all worked up over stuff like this.  When if finally makes the newspaper, I have no doubt that people will come from miles around and stand and stare at the tire ball like cows in a field stand and stare at passing traffic whizzing past.  If it gets as big as they hope, it could well be a tourist attraction and perhaps the business will have to have "Tire Ball Days" or something like that.  Meanwhile the guys I talked to yesterday can't wait until they get to pose for a group photo in front of their gi-normous tire ball.  I wish I could have captured the gleam in their eyes when they puffed with pride about their tire ball.  It was a Hoosier Moment, for sure.

Well, there will be more eras to come to an end soon.  Let me count the ways.  It's going to be a long road to travel between now and when I can come home to Arizona and then Idaho.  I will be here weeks at least and maybe a lot longer.  There is no end in sight at this point.  It's day-by-day, step-by-step, inch-by-inch and era-by-era.  Someday this whole era will end and we will move on.

May your Christmas be Very Merry and may your life be filled with Many Joyous Holiday Cheers.  jp


Marti Spudboater said...

These are men who never got over playing with a medicine ball in grade school. I love it! And I can see you are getting back to writing from your heart and humor. You gave me a good laugh this morning on Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear from you. I check the blog religiously! Been thinking a lot about Mai...wishing her the best at the Pearly Gates! Keep in touch! nem

The Goatherder said...

Great blog post, you're back! It's hard not to make a comment about the size of that tire ball and it's implications for Indiana tire guys, but I'll demure. I'm sure we'll have pics from later in the day. Kate is playing with her new iPad. She has finally come in from the dark side and entered the S. Jobs reality distortion field.
Happy Christmas, we miss you!