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» Putting the Fun in Funeral

Rudy kept his sense of humor
Rudy had a lot of fun while he was alive -- he loved dancing, and Scotch, and horse racing, though not necessarily in that order. He almost always had a racing form handy, and frequently played the ponies.

Unfortunately, Rudy became afflicted with Lou Gehrig's Disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), which assured him of a long, unpleasant slide towards death. Fortunately for him, he had a good support group of friends who came over to drink with him once a week, even after he was incapable of taking food or drink without assistance.

The last time Rudy saw his support group was on St. Patrick's Day a few years back; on March 19 he finally died.

When we went to the funeral home for the calling, we saw that Rudy's casket was bedecked with a banner that read "I'D RATHER BE IN SARATOGA," Saratoga being a famous horse-racing track in the state of New York. As it turned out, Rudy himself had ordered the banner, and had even had it done over when he discovered that the mounting grommets on the first one didn't align properly with the handles on his casket.

I'm sure the banner had the effect Rudy had intended, as about everyone who saw it laughed. What could have been a mournful occasion took the air of a cocktail party, and we all stood around and told stories about what a funny guy he had been, all the way to the end.

(His tombstone is engraved with the same saying, by the way.)
(Tue 16th May 2006, 22:51, More)

» Hidden Treasure

Arms Cache
My wife (then girlfriend) bought a house that had been owned by an older man from his estate after he had died. The house required extensive remodeling, and when we were there doing demolition one night my wife reached into a hole in the ceiling and dragged out three rifles and a Masonic ceremonial sword. She sold the guns and gave me the sword, which I still have.
(Thu 30th Jun 2005, 16:18, More)

» Scars with history

Memories of motorbikes, meals, dogs and jobs
The scar on my chin -- not currently visible because it's under my beard -- is a reminder that it's not a good idea to drink mass quantities of alcoholic beverages right before operating a motorcycle. (I have a full-coverage helmet now, too.)

The scar on my left index finger serves as evidence that utility knives are quite sharp. I learned that particular lesson when I had a summer job covering houses with aluminum and vinyl siding. I was trimming a piece of siding while standing on a scaffold just under the eaves of a two-story house; the knife slipped and I cut a deep gash about an inch long, stopping at the second knuckle. I swore, shook my hand, and painted a long streak of blood down the baby-blue siding.

In the middle of the back of my left hand and just behind my left thumb are a couple of jagged scars that I got when trying to break up a fight between my Labrador Retriever, Pantone Black, and my neighbor's dog, Lucas, Prince of Darkness. Lost a nice pair of deerskin gloves during that episode, too. (My dog won, no thanks to me.)

My right hand was relatively unblemished until a few months ago, when an experimental Chicken Marsala recipe splashed hot grease onto my wrist. I really should get a lab coat for the kitchen....
(Sat 5th Feb 2005, 19:30, More)

» People with Stupid Names

oh, ok then....
A friend of mine dated a gal named Wendy Payne. A classmate was named Dorinda Bell (Dor, for short). And a good customer (and a nice guy, rest his soul) was Dick Besore.
(Fri 27th Aug 2004, 12:31, More)