Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tribute to an Era

Early this morning, Andrew got a call from his cousin that his father's cousin Will had finally died. He's been fighting for the last few weeks or so with a heart & lung condition and apparently had just had it. We weren't surprised, although after we had visited him two weekends ago we thought he may have rallied.

Wilford was an ornery old coot. He made that character from that 90s movie City Slickers, played by Jack Palance, look like a wimp. He was a geologist in the oil business and he could tell you long, boring stories about the Earth-- Andrew's dad once asked "why those rocks were black" and the explanation started "well, back when the Earth was formed....." and went on about an hour later.

Andrew's dad & Will had a funny relationship. They'd been together their whole lives-- both growing up on a dirt farm in Central Texas and pulling themselves out of there at the first chance they got. Once, we were out to a fancy dinner and Wilford started to recite some long poetry of the 19th century sentimentalist for "men's ways" sort (huntin' and shootin' poems, you know) and Jim said "Willie, I didn't like your poetry back then and I aint gonna listen to it now".

Sometimes I didn't really like him. He could be an opinionated bastard, and I recall him hounding me about a year before I finally got pregnant about my "biological clock" and I told him "Willie, my biological clock is MY business." He shut up, but he was a little smug when I told everyone I was having not one but two kiddos

Anyway, he was a one of a kind guy and even though he could be a pain in the ass to go out to dinner with when he started loudly spouting off those kinds of conversations, he is one of the last of Andrew's dad's generation. They were all a bunch of tough old coots, in the long run, and we owe a lot to them.

We'll be going to San Antonio for the funeral this weekend, and see family. We're glad we made the trip a couple of weekends ago to see him when he was in a rallying period, too. That's important; see people when they're still here as much as you can.

In honor of him, I recall a cool cowboy poem by Wallace McRae called "Reincarnation". I'm not going to reprint it cause he specifically says not to on his website, but go check it out; it's the second one on the page.


Maude Lebowski said...

Kim, I'm so sorry for your loss.

kim wells said...

Thanks, Maudie. It's more Andrew's loss of a favorite old relative.

Now we just need to get on the road!! Too much driving to do!