I’m happy to report that 10-year-old Boston Ludden shot his deer last Friday. He was hunting with his dad, Matt, in the national forest near a place that used to be called Mud City. The deer was a seven-point buck that weighed in at about 187 pounds. The only fly in the ointment was that Matt’s pickup slid off the road and was totaled shortly after they left the national forest boundary. Luckily, neither was hurt, and Grandpa Craig Ryerson picked them up and took them to the tagging station in his pickup.
Not so happily, we learned that my older brother Rupert passed away Thanksgiving Day after a long-running, debilitating illness. He was 90 years old, and his body just wore out, I think. Being one of eleven brothers and sisters, he left a very large extended family and a huge number of friends throughout Oxford County and beyond. Minister John Williams conducted a very nice and well- attended funeral service at the West Bethel Union Church on Sunday. Five-year-old great-granddaughter Sophie Hanscom wowed everyone with a solo rendition of the song, “Fly Like a Snowflake,” dedicated to Grandpa Rupert. Eldest son, Rupert Jr. and grandson/daughter David Hanscom and Becky Cole made moving presentations representing the sentiments of the rest of us family members. A committal service at the Flat Road cemetery and large get-together at the Bethel Inn followed the funeral service. Everyone hated to have Rupert leave us, but I think we all agreed that his passing was a blessing at this time due to his failing health. We miss him terribly.
On a lighter note, Dan Whitman has been helping me build a large shed to house our camper trailer. As we put the finishing touches on the purloins (wood strapping to support the steel roofing panels I plan to install), I decided to squeeze between the strapping boards (about 9 inches apart) in order to descend the ladder inside the shed which leaned against the base of the roof trusses. When I got my lower body through the strapping, my belt got hung up, and I found I couldn’t go either up or down! Surprisingly, my chest and abdomen are thicker than my butt! But did Dan help? No! He just shouted for Mona to get the camera. Some friend! Lucky for me, I was able to unbuckle my belt and struggle back up onto the roof. I still bought Dan’s pizza at Pat’s on Friday night.
(Note: below is a poem about the passing of Rupert Grover)
By Richard Grover
It’s always hard to say goodbye to a friend or loved one
But this time, its plain Rupert’s time had come.
He was a man of action, with always a task that must be done.
A tree to cut, a row to hoe, a trout to catch, a deer to chase or a touch o’ rum
A drummer to bag, a beaver to trap, a tree to tap, a machine to fix, a hide to paste
A saw to file, a field to mow, a friend to rib, a shoe to toss or some other fun.
Like cards to play, smelts to catch, berries to pick, no time to waste.
He liked short trout, skipper meat, short legged blonds, a good dog, mossy horned deer and chain saws.
There was always so much fun to have, so little time and so many laws.
Like the laws of aging and wearing out
That finally caught him, without a doubt.
He got trapped in a body that could no longer do anything
Like an eagle unable to fly with a busted wing.
It hurt to see him trapped like that
I’m glad he’s released, and that’s a fact.