a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, February 16, 2015

Uncle Bill's Deer Stand

I saw the oak tree in winter clothing, the tree that has the biggest acorns on the farm. Standing at tallest point was the tree that Uncle Bill chose to hunt from when he wasn't busy urinating in buck scrapes or running the deer away from others.  He built a tree stand here years ago and the platform still lays in the forks of the tree.

Uncle Bill was the black sheep of the family.  There's always one in every family that doesn't do things exactly like the family thinks he should do.  He was born wild and seemed to want to stay that way.  He was excused from the military in World War II because he was needed at home.  Dad was already serving so Bill got out of that one.

Uncle Bill seemed to get away with a lot of things that "normal" people wouldn't even think of doing. He did grow up but then again, maybe he didn't.  He was a member of the carpenter's union in Kansas City and worked there all his working years.

Uncle Bill taught me penny ante poker, how to catch snakes and how to dress a logger head turtle for eating.  He always had a tall tale and disrupted life as I knew it when he came around.  He was a force to be reckoned with but like a moth to flame when Uncle Bill came, I could not stay away. Oh, the adventures we had!

My first swamp rabbit hunt was with Uncle Bill.  I got to handle my dog and carry the rabbits.  When we had our limit, we stopped at a well worn house and gave the elderly lady that answered the door our mess of rabbits.  It was no one Uncle Bill knew.  She was grateful and so was I.  Cleaning game with Uncle Bill always meant there would be more innards and fur on me when we finished than there seemed to be on the animal from the start.

He was an avid fisherman.  When snagging season was in it was not unusual for him to show up with two or three forty to a hundred pound spoon bill catfish, a nice boneless catfish.

In his retired years he was a die hard Kansas City Chief fan.  Unbelievably devoted he and Sharon tried to get tickets for every home game.  They rarely won but Uncle Bill and Sharon never gave up hope.  The next season was gonna be The Winning Season.

Today as I stood looking at this tree and remembering the dynamo that was Uncle Bill, I said, "They finally won!  I wish you coulda seen it."  I think this place and this time I said good bye to Uncle Bill. I also wondered if he was playing poker with angels or bluffing with the devil. Either place I'm sure Uncle Bill was in charge or causing trouble.

14 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

He'll be smiling in heaven when they win the Super Bowl someday :)

Saucy Kodz said...

You know - I was just thinking, if your Uncle Bill and my Dad got together in heaven, they would be best buddies. You know what my Dad taught me; well, they would be telling tales to each other, going fishing, hunting, cooking out in the wild clouds of heaven's never ending fields and Dad would have that old home made guitar just pumping with tunes. Sounds like heaven to me.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Uncle Bill is probably smiling:) Hug B

Delores said...

He sounds like he was a full of life, fun kind of guy. Where ever he is, He'll be the life of the party.

Sandra said...

that tree is so beautiful and just looking at it brought back all your memories.. great story and a perfect memorial to your Uncle Bill

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Nice tribute. I'd rather be remembered as a character than not, but not one that gives their family grief.

Linda Kay said...

Gail, people like Uncle Bill really stay with you forever. Such a great individual character.

TexWisGirl said...

you come from some good country folk. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

He's getting Heaven ready for you in his own way.
I don't think I'd be very good at cleaning rabbits.

Arkansas Patti said...

Those so called black sheep sure knew how to keep our interest. They made life fun and interesting. What a lovely tribute to a very special guy.

Julie McQueen said...

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Sandy said...

Gail,

Your Uncle Bill had a heart of gold. I can understand why your wanted to hang around him when you were younger.

Susan Anderson said...

I always enjoy your stories about family members and lore. You tell a good tale, my friend!

=)

Far Side of Fifty said...

He sounds like wonderful man! You were lucky to have known him:)

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