With the Warden off being grandma to Micah, I decided to attend the Atlanta Labor Day celebration. It’s always good for a parade, some homegrown fun and meeting some old friends. I sure wasn’t disappointed. At least for a while. Just like my grandsons, I watched the whole parade, hollered at friends when they drove by and held my fingers in my ears when they blew the sirens on the fire trucks.
Afterwards, I sort of strolled along seeing who all was around (besides I knew there was no way for me to keep up with the grandsons). Then, since I am now of the "minimum age", I strolled over to the "old timers" bench (which was in the shade) and decided to people watch.
Then along came Bill and sits down beside me. Now Bill has always been somewhat of drip of cold water but is all right most of the time. We, of course start rehashing "old times" when our own kids were running all over the place and comparing notes over the last couple years since we last seen each other. Soon the conversation begins to turn to statements starting with "member when?"
"Member when ole Skelly went with us coon hunting over on the creek?" he asked with a grin. Then added, "he dang sure could skinny up a tree!"
"Yeah, that night sure was a lot of fun" I added "and we got several coon as I remember."
"Yeah, that ole Buck dog of his was a pretty dang good hound. Never tapped a tree unless the coon was there" he continued.
"Where is ole Skelly now?" I questioned.
"Oh he died some 5 or so years ago" he explained. "Just keeled right over one day."
Well, now I was kind of shocked to hear that news since ole Skelly was just a couple years older than me! But then we both stopped talking for a minute or two, to kind of memorialize our demised friend.
"Member Jim? Same thing happened to him!" he added when the proper time of memorializing was over.
"Jim?" I asked emphatically. "I just seen him a couple years ago here at Atlanta! Looked healthy as a horse!"
"Well he was till he went to the doctor." He explained, "Doctor gave him a shot for something and he had a reaction. Didn’t make the night!"
I am shocked! Again we go silent for a few more minutes of memorialism.
"You heard about Bob didn’t ya? Member him?" he asked.
By now I am getting a little afraid to ask, but I do with a qualifier, "You mean Bob that used to work on the ranch up north of Leon?"
"Yeah, he had a car wreck about 4 month ago."
We again memorialize our friend. But this time when the proper time has past, I decide it’s time to leave.
"Bill, it’s sure been good talking to you." I lie as I walk away. I had all I wanted of this walking obituary! I wanted out of there before this guy killed off all my friends.