When it comes my time to cross the “silent river” I hope the Great Spirit is there to cross it with me, and that is happens in the twinkle of an eye.
My mind and heart are heavy again this week with the news of the loss of many friends. I want to start with my friend Mike Shortt. There have been some people I’ve known that are as good as Mike, but none any better. Mike was a quiet, unassuming man who served his community well. He was the chairman of the Letcher County Coal Miners Committee and was involved with the Letcher County Kids Day Committee. He never stopped working for the children, and my heart goes out to his family, and even more so to his lovely wife Helena, who was always by his side. He loved her very much, and told me just that several times.
Albrow Hall left us also. I always loved Albrow, and his family and friends will miss him greatly. I spoke to his son Gaddy Wayne just a few days before I went hunting out west. Albrow always had a kind word for me — and a smile. He was a fixture at our squirrel breakfast.
Bill Stambaugh will always be one of my favorite people, being from McRoberts and having a smile that would melt the coldest of hearts. He was always smiling and would take time for me even when I could tell he wished I would just go away. My heart goes out to Wilma, his wife. She has always been a dear friend of mine.
When I was a radio DJ in another life, every morning the phone would ring about five after six and a kid’s voice would request a song — a song that up until Christmas past the young man still remembered. The name of the song: “Bringing Mary Home.” The young man: Michael Webb. He also crossed the Silent River last week. Michael never missed coming to Breakfast with Santa at Hemphill with his two daughters.
As we sat and talked this past Christmas, he joked to the kids that Santa use to play him a song and told them the name of the song. I never went to Fleming- Neon Elementary School to take pictures with the kids when Michael didn’t tell them about him and Santa being friends.
I know my name is on the list of people who are almost ready to cross the river; I just don’t know my number. I am truly sad for all the loss suffered by Letcher Countians last week.