Uncle William's Thing
We had a family picnic down at Sycamore Flats one time, that's the time William had the Thing. All of us kids were checking it out, I mean it was ugly, so we're going to look. William decided to give us a ride. Off we went. The only place I remember us going was Highway 276. That's because it caught on fire. The battery was under the seat, and it got to smoldering on us. My cousin calls out to him that there was smoke, it had happened before. William gets an agitated look..."Well, see if you can stomp it out"...But, William stays calm, while all of us kids had visions of us hopping out as it goes up in flames. My cousin Mark is stomping his heart out..."You get it out yet?"
"No, it's still smoking"...
"Well, keep stomping"...
William looked agitated, but, he didn't lose composure. He pulled back into Sycamore Flats and in someway he got it out. I can't recall how. He just did, and he didn't hang onto the Thing too much longer. He probably sold to someone for a good buy.
Unfortunately, I relayed this tale today at his funeral. William had a Bobcat, it was his favorite toy. While he worked at the Ecusta Paperrmill, now laying in dust on the ground, he cared more about his side business's. One of which was landscaping, in comes the bobcat. But, even more, William wasn't one to stand and watch another man work. He'd help someone if he could. Monday he was helping a neighbor, and that bobcat rolled over on him...I wish it wasn't so.
I was told he wanted to talk with me before I headed out. I'll not know what he had to say. I was to see him this weekend. Another thing I'll always remember about William was him sitting by my Pau Pau's side as he was dieing, patiently talking with him. Or laughing about tearing down the old house and finding liquor in the chimney. But, the most thing will always be the characteristic he had, no matter how grim things got, no matter how bad it seemed or how much it hurt, he took it straight faced. My cousin Mark inherited that, and I respect him for it. I saw allot on William's face over the years. Disappointment, dread, pain, laughter, determination, seriousness and joy. He was a man about it all though.
Me and William didn't see each other that often. I'm sure going to miss him though.