Hello and merry Christmas everyone!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with plenty food, regardless if it was turkey, ham or a kettle of soup beans and cornbread or a simple glass of milk with bread in it.
Thanks to Matthew and Tabitha Caudill for allowing his parents, Mike and Marcia Caudill, along with Ricky to invite and welcome me into their family and home.
There was food galore, everything looked so good and appetizing, and oh you should have seen the delicious desserts.
For once I was on my best behavior, well sort of! since I was a guest in a policeman’s house. However that policeman was so sweet it was easy to forget what he stood for.
Ricky is getting old and couldn’t hang with the crowd, and had to take a nap. Actually, he had a headache and had been under the weather for a couple of days.
I watched television while he snoozed. It was a bigscreen television and I could see though I am having some vision problems.
As I went upstairs Marcia and different ones were doing dishes, so I shushed Marcia out of the way. I am no stranger to hot water as I stay in it a lot of times. While I washed and rinsed it seems a drying towel fit Ricky’s large hands just fine as he dried the dishes. Matt decided to put them away, and here I am surrounding by long-legged guys, and taller gals. I took a lot of teasing about being short!
All at once I felt something, or thought I had seen a shadow. Matt was reaching above my head as if I was invisible and putting things in the cabinet above me, much to Mike and Marcia’s enjoyment.
Did I say I was treated like family? Marcia cooked shucky beans, and I wish I had sneaked a small bowl and brought it home. Oops, can’t go snitching in a policeman’s house!
Matt and Tabitha have a beautiful and comfortable home. The part I really liked was the informality as the table, stove and counter were all filled with food, and it was more serve yourself, no stuffy formal, afraid you will accidently break something.
Oh wait a minute, we did have china, as the paper plates were probably made in China.
Thanks Matt, Tabitha, Mike, Marcia and Ricky. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful writings. As we both know, imaginations can take us far away and you never have to leave your chair.
I really had no intentions of having Thanksgiving with anyone as I had packed a bag and was heading to wherever I felt like going.
My brother Richie Hall used to talk about a motel in Somerset with a waterfall and a swimming pool inside. That was my destination, to go where no one knew me for a few days.
I am having a bit of vision problems due to eye surgery, and driving at night is a struggle.
Plans took a different turn as on Saturday night someone took their final voyage from this earth. I would like to dedicate this column to an awesome man, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and most importantly, a friend to everyone, that includes me.
Larry Hasty went to sleep on Saturday night and woke up no doubt, at the feet of our Savior Jesus Christ.
My deepest, heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Hasty and Wagner families plus everyone connected.
I cannot describe how much Les and Pat Wagner, Larry, Becky, Polly Hasty and little Kelly mean to me.
Larry and Becky have a son Billy and daughter-in-law that I’ve only met a couple of times, who are just as wonderful also, along with every member of the Wagner family that have come to mean so much to me in the two and half years I’ve known them.
Larry would have celebrated a birthday Dec. 11.
Saturday evening, Larry was looking forward to going to church Sunday morning, then Monday was our gathering at Hunter’s Pizzeria to listen to our favorite band in this area, the Tony Hale & Black Water Bluegrass Band.
As Larry closed his eyes in sleep, angels opened the gates to heaven. I am sure he danced right through, free from pain, as Larry was facing another surgery in a few days.
It was a joke with Larry and me that he was going to dance with me when he got well.
As I sat in the funeral home listening to the words of the pastor describing Larry, all I can say is this world would be a much better place if there were more Larry Hastys on this earth.
His family came first with him. Becky is sort of quiet, and she had to be when Larry and I got our mouths going, plus Les, and Pat who is my stepsister.
I sincerely love Pat Wagner as much as I could love a sister, and Les is more like me in some ways.
The thing with Larry is, it wasn’t just his immediate family, it was all the family.
The love that Les and Pat, Larry and Becky shared was so evident.
Larry has been in a lot of pain for the past year or so as he had multi surgeries with hip replacement. But unless he absolutely was past going, Larry kept going, and he didn’t sit and whine. He would make you laugh no matter how bad he was feeling.
I would like to share the beginning of this friendship. I had seen and heard a musician named Tony Hale, who picked guitar for Johnny Wax and Special Delivery Band at an informal gathering a few years ago.
I didn’t go talk to anyone very much, then three years ago while I was in Nashville, I had the pleasure of actually meeting Tony.
Shirley Godbey and I went to Hunter’s Pizzeria and a couple of other places to hear the band as Shirley knew the gang.
Tony stole a little part of my heart as he looks sort of gruff. I watched him with his wife Melissa and children, so I sort of adopted him.
Pat Wagner has read my column, I think from the beginning, so when I mentioned Tony’s name Pat told Tony, so that was the start of a friendship that I treasure.
Les, Pat, Larry and Becky along with several others, were at Hunter’s Pizzeria as I was there one month after my bypass surgery.
Pat came to speak to me after Tony mentioned I was there. I was still sort of weak, and I will always be thankful I met all this wonderful people.
Sometimes I am afraid Les and I will get thrown out, and I am a bad influence on Pat as we sing along with Tony and the band.
Tony Hale, Wayne Haddix, Tony Kakaris, and Bubba Griffin did a fantastic job playing music as a tribute at Larry’s funeral.
They played wonderful gospel, then did a few of Larry’s favorites. When the last song was played and Wayne started “Orange Blossom Special” as tears were streaming down my face, I felt my heart pumping to the rhythm. Oh how I wanted to walk close to the casket, touch Larry’s hand and dance just a step or two. No, I didn’t do it.
During the procession from the funeral home to the cemetery, there must have been several miles of cars.
I observed something that I haven’t seen for a long time, as vehicles pulled over on the other side of the highway out of respect. At the end there were two commercial trucks that went flying by. I wish I could have seen clear enough to get a name if there was one on the trucks.
Afterward there was food being served at the Nazarene Church. I was by myself, so I was going to follow the vehicle in front of me as I had observed Larry’s brother and his family and assumed they would be going to meet the rest.
There were four cars, and I was the last one. Well, it was like the blind leading the blind, or don’t follow me, I am lost too.
I was laughing so hard and thinking, am I going home with these people? Finally a U-turn was made and at last they found the church with me in tow. I introduced myself in the parking lot and told them I thought I might be going home with them. Oh the laughter.
There was a couple of highlights. I finally got to meet two of the nicest and handsome young guys, James and Jon Sonant, their parents Mike and Valerie Ison, and their beautiful daughter. They explained how lost they had been. Finally we made our way into the church.
Food was so plentiful and I sat with a couple of strangers. Pat tried to get me to pull up a chair and sit with them.
As I was leaving Les insisted that I bring something home with me. Others were taking food, as so much was left. I did bring two or three pieces of chicken for my son Keith. Now here is where more fun came in.
I got a phone call as I pulled into my driveway. After a day of crying and laughter, I started crying again while talking to a friend. I took my keys out of my ignition, thought I put them in my purse, then decided not to wear my coat. I picked up my purse and a small bag, walked to my porch and found I had no house keys.
I called Keith thinking he was in the house, but he had gone to K-Mart, and he promptly told me to come and pick him up. I had to laugh and reply, “Son, if I could come pick you up, I wouldn’t need you to open my door.”
Here it is sort of chilly and I have no coat. I had just gotten the mail from the mailbox so I wrapped up in the canopy cover on the swing, read The Mountain Eagle and ate a piece of chicken. I sat, just swinging waiting for Keith to come let this old dingy woman in her own house.
Larry would have probably shook his head and smiled, making light of me.
In closing, I wish to say that the world was filled with this Gentle Giant who had a heart bigger than all outdoors.
Doyle and Betty Ison had a great time as almost all their family was there for dinner, and those who couldn’t make it Thanksgiving are coming again for another dinner.
I haven’t got any news about the Calihans, but I do believe their daughter Sue Wagner made it home.
I talked to Jeff Adams as I know it was hard for Jeff, Jack and the family. Jeff and Jack had dinner with his and Bev’s daughter and her family.
Jeff said he felt like a beached whale, he had eaten so much. I started laughing and said as long as he didn’t look like one.
Until next time.