Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rain on the Oregano

Yup, the Oregano is getting wet this morning.  I have found that wetness and Oregano are a good thing because my various plots of the Italian herb are as pretty as ever this year. 

I've been watering them every day so the blossoms have stayed healthy and haven't dried out.  

I don't use my Oregano with spaghetti.  Instead, I keep planting it to dress up spots around the place.  The transplants expand quickly and stay forever.  Plus, the distinctive aroma of Oregano in the air adds to the fun, especially while I'm watering.

This morning, watering won't be necessary because we have just begun a weekend of rain, and except for the outdoor events, that is great.  

We could use a little more help from Mother Nature keeping the grass green and the pastures growing for fall grazing.  It looks like that may happen. 

In the meantime, we're moving on through September with the usual fall activities.  Bill and Willie will go fishing this afternoon after we attend a graveside service for a family friend, Bill Woolsey. 

We were fortunate to see Barb Woolsey, her daughter Linda and son Bill last night at Sweet Lou's.  Also saw and met John Cochran, brother to another good friend and neighbor Neal AND brother to Pinky, who claimed half credit for the downtown TAVERN being the TERVAN.   

John, who's lived in St. Regis, Mont., where he ran the KOA campground for a long time, told me he had been Bill Woolsey's best friend since they were about 8 years old.  The two of them worked at a bakery together.  

"Was it Haworth's Bakery?" I asked.

"No," he said, "it was Lewis."  

Well, that got the Dub Lewis stories going, including the fact that my mother bought her first horse from Dub Lewis, a yearling filly named Largo, born in 1948. 

That was when John and Bill graduated from high school.  John remembered our dad Harold and his association with "Mrs. Racicot."  Harold lived at Fats and Ardis' house before he and mother were married.

Well, it turned out that John used to help Mrs. Racicot with her chores.  She had a milk cow at the time, which John would ride up from the pasture. 

I could have talked to and listened to John tell stories all night.  In between, though, the Woolsey's and I did a little catch-up.  Linda was on the horse judging team with Cathy Russell, Jane Lund and Dan Lund the summer I met Bill.  

We all traveled to Texas together in August, 1973.  And, of course, the fact that I was having a "summer romance" with Bill came up. 

My memories of Bill and Barb Woolsey are plentiful and good.  There was the time I was covering the Pack River Lumber Co. strike back in the 1970s for the Sandpoint News Bulletin.  

That was happening on the mill site, now occupied by the affluent community of Dover Bay.  The strikers sat with their signs on the roadway into the mill, and they always had more than enough material to share with me.

It was quite a contrast when I'd go to the Pack River office and ask Bill, then manager, for new information on strike negotiations.  After a very cordial greeting from Bill, I'd begin the questioning and end it just as quickly.

"No comment," Bill would say, and off I'd go with a rather lopsided view of a local strike which lasted for six weeks.  

My managing editor Morgan Monroe, who had once worked for Newsweek magazine, would always reassure me when I'd return to the office that my experience of reporting both sides of the strike was pretty much normal. 

The fact that we seldom exchanged much conversation during my professional visits to Bill's office never affected our friendship. 

We always liked the Woolseys who also raised Hereford cattle at the time.  And, Barb always stood as one of those great examples in my mind of a woman with strong leadership skills, especially with her work as a member of the Bonner County Cow Belles. 

The Woolsey's eventually moved away to Billings, Mont., where Barb resides now on a 9-acre farm.  

So, until last night's wonderful encounter at Sweet Lou's---just down the highway from where Barb grew up and not far from just across Sand Creek on North Boyer where Bill spent his childhood at what some now call the Pennington place---it had been years since I'd seen Bobby and Linda and their sister Cheryl who did not come to dinner. 

Linda and I both agreed that it seemed like just yesterday the minute we started visiting. I love those friendships. 

And, so today an old friend, Bill, will be laid to rest at Pack River Cemetery. I have a feeling the mourners will include many, many familiar faces and longtime friends.  RIP, Bill. 

Looks like a day for rainy-day projects, so I guess I'll get at 'em. 

Happy Saturday.  


No comments: