Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jerry, Jim, and Joe

In the last four months, Rockbridge County has lost Jerry, Jim, and Joe among others. These three were a small, but important part of my life.

Jerry was the manager of our recycling center. He read everything and listened to the radio religiously. He was a man of much knowledge, many facts, and endless stories. One never knew what they were going to learn, any given day, when they took their cans and bottles to the recycle at the dump. He was born here but spent many years in New England so didn't appear as a southerner . He could tell you all that was wrong in the world but was a supreme optimist. Jerry was loved by all.

Jim was our next door neighbor, just over the hill. He was probably the first person we met here. Our property was carved out of theirs several years ago for good friends of theirs. We didn't get to know Jim too well because not too long after we came here he fell and then started the slow process of dementia and lived in a nursing home because Kitty couldn't care for him. We did have conversations at the summer neighborhood dinners, at the cupola by their pond before that, but most of what I knew about Jim was learned from hundreds of stories over these four years here.

Joe was my friend Naomi's husband. Most of what I know about sheep, I learned from Naomi and Joe. Most of the times I would see Joe, was at a shepherd's symposium, a parasite workshop or some such thing, or the county fair. When I'd go out to see what was happening at their farm or go to ask a question, Joe was always there doing something with sheep. Naomi is the woman of vast knowledge about all the agricultural scene and on the boards of important organizations but Joe was her right hand guy.

Joe was as laid back as Jerry was activated and Jim was somewhere in between. I will miss all three. Makes me wonder what folks will say I did to make a difference in this place when I am gone. Hope I have a little time left because I have great plans if life goes on.

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