Mark Twain


It seems like the last year has dragged on for a decade in most respects. Just over one year ago I was able to drive, go to meetings, or just go have a steak. In the last 14 months I have gone from walking with a cane to a walker, always having truck keys in my pocket, and taking a drive with my camera, to depending on my brother to drive. I went from living on 200 acres to .9 acres in a year. I have been in the hospital twice and sick as a dog once. I even lost my dog.

Now that sounded depressing! What has bothered me the worst is losing old friends. I wrote about my friend Tennessee Jim just 3 weeks ago. Since then we lost a lifelong family friend, a friend lost his son, and I am almost jumpy about the phone ringing. I got a message about an old cohort who died this week. But I just now got a call about a character that I had a lot of fun with. He was not a buddy that I went fishing with or went over for bar-b-que. I just loved to listen to him argue.

Ed was an ornery old fart. My most enjoyable times were listening to him work up the coffee drinkers at the Coop. That was when you could go to the Coop Feed store and catch everyone coming in to pick up feed, supplies, or kill time drinking coffee. Get a bunch of Deutschmen together and there is bound to be a disagreement at some time. Things could get a little loud between those who needed hearing aids, those who had hearing aids, and those that should take out their hearing aids.

Ed was real good at knowing what pushed a persons button. He would read volumes of books just so he was well versed on many subjects. He knew who he could rile up and who not to. It was all in fun. Ed was a good farmer that prospered as well as anyone in the area. Many would shake their heads because he would argue that the sun rose in the west if it caused a good conversation. There were many times that he caught me grinning out of the corner of his eye because I knew he was just stirring things up.

One time it was just Ed and myself in the coffee room before anyone showed up. We had a laugh and he asked me, “remember when we used to come in here to stir the old men up? Now we are the old men.”

Of that whole bunch that I drank coffee with there are just enough to count on one hand left. In fact the coffee room is not there anymore. Not a lot of youngins left who care what the old men say. That is their loss.

I sure would like to hear the negotiations going on at the pearly gates. Come to think of it, lets put that off for a while longer.

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