Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mom called me today while I was herding cats at a local hight school.

It's been a week of that. 6th graders, 2nd graders and then a high school today. Just peachy. It's stunning, getting a closer look at the generation that is coming up.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of showing a movie to these little treasures when mom calls. I tell her I'm in class and I'll call her back. When I do, she tells me that Wilson Moon, one of my dad's cousins and great old friends had passed away. He was 99 years old! Daym, that's just inconceivable.

That's Mr. Moon in the middle, and daddy on the left. I took this at the Reunion in 2008, about three weeks before daddy died.

I took this one, of Wilson and his lovely wife Dorothy, at the last Reunion in March.

The obit in the paper says he was born on Oct. 28, 1911 in Holland, Texas. That's where the Wilsons, Moons and Rampeys, all descendants of W.S.S. Wilson and his children, all lived.

"He graduated from Holland High School and Texas A&M University, where he played baseball. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He married Bess Thompson in 1942. She preceded him in death in 1997. He married Dorothy Graham on Sept. 2, 2000. He worked for the Soil Conservation Service in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico and Indiana and retired as state conservationist in Iowa after 40 years of service. He operated a farm near Holland. He was a Mason, and a member of the Aggie Club. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Dawson Sunday School Class."

Of course, I knew Mr. Moon through daddy, and the news of his passing has brought much of the sadness of my fathers passing right back to me. The two of them were great friends. I'll never forget, at daddy's funeral, Mr. Moon walking up past me and saying something like "Our buddy's gone and left us, hasn't he?" I tell ya, I was holding it together pretty good until then.

The last time Denise and I saw the Moons was at the Wilson Family Reunion last March. We talked about getting together for dinner, or just a visit after that, but it never happened. He and his wife lived in a nice house out by the Chinese food place daddy and I used to frequent.

I always intended to stop by, but it never happened. I guess part of me was reluctant to go over there for fear of having to tell him about all this stupid, humiliating drama with the college. Loosing my job, my career, over something so stupid and contrived. But now I wish I'd driven over there.

Of course, now it's too late. Sucks how that kind of thing happens. There are no do-overs. I guess there's a lesson in that.

So here's to him, and to all the others from his and fathers generation who are leaving us so fast. I'll miss him, and I sure as hell don't know how we're ever gonna replace him. Cheers.



The funeral was nice. We gathered there with his widow, her children from her previous marriage, and the rest of Wilson's family. He had a beautiful, wooden coffin, flag draped, and there were a few nice words from his preacher. The word was that he'd been declining for a month or so, but that in the end, he went quickly. That's a blessing.

The consensus was that he'd been a wonderful man, of impeccable honesty and integrity. The preacher said that he'd passed by the ranch where Wilson keeps his cattle, and the cow hands had put a wreath of flowers on the gate. Nice. He was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. What better thing could be said after someones passing?


Kenneth said...

We remember the 2nd and 6th grades just like they were a few weeks ago, and we vividly remember the adults (teachers) who profoundly affected us. The real test of a treasure is retained or increased value as time goes by, and anyone you spend time with, young or older, will acquire and retain some of your sense of historical continuity, adding to their potential value. Even if you don't lecture on the subject, you live according to it, and children are even more adept at non-verbal communication than adults are. I would bet that you taught them this lesson of your passing friend without your even being aware of it.

FHB said...

Thanks. I hope so.