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09/15/2004 Entry: "Thoughts on Uncle Rusty"

I'm fresh back from Uncle Rut's funeral. Fresh. Like, came back to the office, grabbed some coffee, and came out back to get my thoughts together before I hit the desk.

Pastor Mitch Ross asked if anyone had anything they'd like to share about Rusty. And though I didn't go forward, I have been thinking back. When I was a kid, there was a triangle of houses, with ours on one apex, Uncle Rog and Aunt Dee-Dee on another point, and Uncle Rusty and Aunt Karen on the third. Though I don't know why (perhaps because it was the most centerally located), Uncle Rusty's house was where all the cousins would hang out and play. When I think back to my childhood days, many memories are centered around Uncle Rusty's house. Kick the can, hide and seek, collecting horse chestnuts under his big tree. Suzy Baines and Kelly Kinney once tried to force me to eat a worm over at Uncle Rusty's. I remember throwing apples on the end of a lobster trap lath in the Post's back yard, and when somebody stopped and starting backing-up to see what was going on, we bolted to behind Uncle Rusty's house and hid. And not one time do I ever remember him yelling at us. We were in, out, running, loud, and he never said boo... never told us to go on home.

Having been in the Army, Uncle Rusty had a flag folding ceremony, and taps played on a small tape recorder. That was good for a lump in the throat.

Eldest daughter Melanie read a poem. (How she maintained her composure is beyond me. I'd have been a wreck.) I don't know the title, but it reminds me of Alfred Lord Tennyson's "When I Cross the Bar." Though it was not the last poem he wrote, he asked that it always appeared last in any collection of his poems. I may like to have it read at my funeral.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there by no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

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