Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Friends

     I'm trying to do this blog post for the fourth time today. The first time I had something that I wanted, or at least I had a good start on it, when I hit the wrong key and got a message that asked me a question- do I want to do this or that. Hell, I don't know. The computer wanted a yes or no answer. What the heck, I had a 50/50 chance of getting it right, so I said yes. It wiped out all my work. Go figure. The next two tries I didn't like, so I wiped them out myself. So here I am, I've already eaten my supper and watched the last presidential debate. I've got my coffee here with me on the desk and I'm ready to go, but for reasons I can't comprehend, I'm typing faster than the words are showing up on the screen, so it's a hurry up and wait scenario. I feel like I'm back in the navy. Oh well, things could be worse.
  The fellow in the top picture is my friend Bob Pinard. We met just over thirty-three years ago when he and his family moved to the farm at Game Creek. It hardly seems possible that we've known each other for so long. I don't think we were so much friends on the farm, as aquaintences; we worked along side each other during various projects, but we never really knew each other all that well. Our friendship grew once we both moved to Hoonah. Our kids were practically interchangeable. Folks who didn't know us well often confused his kids for mine and vice-a versa. We've often hunted together, although Bob is much more of a hunter than I am.       
  Last Friday we took advantage of the clear weather and took the truck out to Freshwater Bay. I'd heard from some folks around town that some deer had been spotted out that way. We left the house early and drove slow, hoping we'd spot one or two hanging out in  the muskegs that envelope the road on either side. When we'd gone quite a few miles without spotting anything, we decided to stop for coffee by one of the spur roads and then hunt that road. There was no sign of anything; not a track, dropping, rub- nothing. We stopped three times to get out and look around, but all to no avail. From the stand point of a successful hunt, it was a bust, but frankly, I can't remember having a better time out hunting. We were in no hurry. There was no feeling of panic that if we didn't shoot something we'd be unable to feed our family for the winter. We were just two friends out for a drive just enjoying each other's company. If a deer showed up, then great. If not, well that's the way it goes. Bob mentioned a few times that he thought the deer were hanging out up in the snow line, a long hard climb up difficult terrain, but we both acknowleged that they may as well be located on the moon. Time is catching up to us. It's hard to accept, but it's true. I think it's especially hard for Bob. He's always been tough as nails, determined,
disciplined, able to overcome obstacles. For those who still have the strength of their youth it's difficult to understand how someone they've always viewed as so strong can no longer do the things they used to. He mentioned that he'd watched TV the other night for several hours, but never finished a single show, he kept falling asleep in his chair. It happens. If it was just a matter of will power we'd climb those mountains or do the marathon hunting or fishing trips or keep building houses, but will power isn't enough. Our bodies wear out and there's a certain peace that comes in accepting it. That doesn't mean that we give up living. Just today Bob was finishing up putting a roof on a lady's trailer. He's seventy some years old climbing around on the roof. What's even more amazing is that he's not charging the gal for his work. She can't afford it, so he's helping her out of the goodness of his heart. That's the kind of guy he is.
  For the past few years we've been getting together on Saturday nights to play rummy. He didn't have his hat on, and I noticed that when he bent over to look at his cards he had yet another cut on his somewhat balding head. It seems that he's always got one or two fresh marks where he's banged into something. When I mentioned it he said he might get a knee pad to stick up there for protection.  Of course such a move would make communication difficult if he pulled the elastic down over his chin. I suggested to his wife, Gail, that perhaps she could get a magic marker and connect all the scars on his head. Maybe it would serve as a model for a map to find Blackbeard's treasure. Who know's. Fortunately he's a good sport and we can all laugh together. The bottom line is, when it comes to friends, I sure know how to pick them.


  1. Good blog dad. And perhaps that's the newest gadget that you should invent! Going bald, keep hat head protected with Tom's (fill in the blank)...

  2. Hi Autumn- I think they already have such devices- they're called helmets- or hard hats for those in the construction industry. I know I've sure wapped my head a few times on the boat. That boom is right above eye level and when I have my hat on, which is always, the bill prevents me from seeing it. I don't know how I could possibly forget it's there, but when the fish are biting I get so excited I forget to look.

  3. Such a good story of friendship and peace, age, scars, and contentment. All interchangeable, compatible, and worthy. Thanks.

  4. Hi Rene- What a blessing to have friends huh? This aging process is quite the journey. Getting old is what's always happened to other people. Ah well, may as well strap in and hang on and enjoy the ride the best we can. Thanks for commenting gal.

  5. Tom,
    That is such a great post!! You are right; we have always been interchangeable families. I appreciate having a second father figure! Miss you guys!

  6. Hi Renee,
    We've been blessed to have such good friends. I miss them terribly when they leave to go south. It was great to see you and the boys this year. I hope you guys can make it an annual event to come visit.You've always been like one of my own. We miss you too gal. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Tom,

    Glad blog. I forgot you were doing this. Renee had me look it up. I hope you are having a good fall. Say hello to Jan for us.


  8. Hi Todd- thanks buddy!

    Hey Brent- maybe if you came up here you could show your dad and me how it's done. Actually, I've spoken to a number of folks who have been out and it's the same story everywhere. Kenny Schoonover thinks they're going to stay up in the snow line until they're driven down by more snow or the rut starts. It wouldn't bother me to get a break in the weather this year, but I 'd sure like to have another deer to get us through the winter. We really enjoy this venison. Nice to hear from you. Keep in touch.

  9. Great blog, the Pinards are a great family! Liz

  10. Hi Liz- yes they are. We've been blessed by their friendship for a number of years.