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September 22nd, 2007

dense growth


dense growth, originally uploaded by gurdonark.

Tonight I drove to Plano to pick up my nephew. On our drive to the Dallas Chess Club, we saw dozens of balloons aloft. The balloons are participating in this week's Plano balloon festival. I like those little panoramas of floating hot-air balloons.

Neither of us had a successful tournament. I went 1 and 1/2 out of four, but was not frustrated or worried. I must play more if I am to play well.

On our midnight drive back home, I learned from my brother that my father's brother Bill passed away today. My brother and I will drive up to Arkansas at dawn tomorrow for the burial. I had not seen my Uncle Bill in a few years, but I thought he was a fine fellow. He had been disabled during military service. My Aunt Lois had been his caretaker, such that we wondered what he would do without her.
She predeceased him by many years, though, and in fact he got right along. I wish my Uncle Bill well in the well of memory to which we all
ascend.

family

Today my brother picked me up at 6:30 a.m. so that we could drive to Arkansas. We enjoyed our conversation. He never once complained that he was spending his birthday driving to a funeral.

When we arrived at my father's home in south Arkansas, he showed us the car he recently acquired, a replica of a very old Jaguar. Even the replica itself is 30 years old--the model it replicates being 70ish years old. I like replicars, because I would never have the patience or sanctity to restore a car to "stock" condition, but it would be fun to drive a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with a ford engine underneath.

We drove twelve miles from the small town where my father lives, to the even smaller town of Chidester. The cemetery for this town of roughly 300 serves as the last resting place for a number of my relatives.

My uncle had carefully specified that he did not want the fuss and to-do of a formal funeral. He wished to be interred the day after his death, with as little folderol as possible. He specified the briefest of graveside services. At his funeral, his son read a poem, read john 3:16, and led us in the Lord's Prayer. I found the simple ceremony very appropriate.

Although the circumstance, the passing of an 87 year old uncle, was quite sad, we were glad to see cousins we have not seen in far too many years. We had a chance to visit with some relatives. My father's family tends to be more oriented to rugged individualists than to social lepidoptera. I am definitely a member of my father's family.

We drove home and listened to sports on the radio, because my brother subscribes to one of those satellite services. I know that many people disdain sports, and there are certainly creditable reasons for not being a sports fan. I will defend sports, though, as the one true domain of people with nuanced feeling. I have never known heartbreak so acute and yet so mannered as I have experienced listening to Arkansas Razorback losses lo these eight and forty years. It is better to have loved and lost and lost and lost and lost....