Farewell, Chuck!

I don’t know if this is the kind of thing to be blogged about, but it seems that I should. We found out today that our elderly landlord passed away a few weeks ago. He was a good guy and shall be missed. He was a WWII Navy veteran, and ran his own ranch out here in the country.

What I remember… He was the kind of guy that was always willing to help, even if he didn’t necessarily have the know how. And sometimes he was better at taking things apart than putting things back together, but if you knew that up front it was more funny than it was annoying or inconvenient. He had a lot of little storage houses dotted all over his land, packed with all kinds of things that, as he used to say, “you never know when it might come in handy.” He once showed me this ancient little stone structure, which he called a cold house, I think – his parents used to store cream and jam in it during the hot summer, before they had refrigerators, or electricity out here.

When his current car broke down, he always had a backup somewhere in his driveway area that either just needed a battery or another tweak, and then he’d use THAT one until it broke down too. The last used car he bought was a red convertible that still had the previous owner’s asian dragon stickers on the back windows – – heh. Oh, and no matter which car he was using, there was usually room for him, maybe a passenger – maybe not, but lots of STUFF – tools, bags of things, newspapers, old junk mail, maybe a bag of persimmons or pomegranates off his trees – things like that.

He had a lot of good stories about this area, including stories of going to the schoolhouse that we currently live in, and having town dances down at the general store. I have a photo of the old hay-bailer that’s decaying in the back field here that he used to ride on as a kid while his father was harvesting the hay.

He was definitely one of those people who would probably be described as having a ‘rich, full life’. My last memory of talking with him was when were driving by and saw him at his front gate and stopped to chat. He was wearing a bright yellow fleece jacket that complimented his white-gray hair and he seemed in fine spirits. Hats off to you, Chuck! (February 1, 1927 – February 14, 2006)

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