Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hunting, JFK, Etc

Ralph Pierce, about 1958

Deer hunting season started this weekend and that always makes me think of my dad. He and his buddies used to drive up to the Rhinelander area every year when I was a kid, and stayed for a week. He only brought home a couple deer that I remember; I think he enjoyed hunting ducks and geese more. We had a couple little horns made into coat hooks in the house, and a tanned skin he said he wanted to get made into something, gloves maybe. But he never did. After he died in 1983 one of his hunting buddies admitted that they spent more time just walking the woods, eating out and card playing than anything.

He was gone hunting the day that Kennedy was shot. I was in seventh grade, sent home early once the news was announced over the junior high school PA system. I remember going to my grandmother's house and watching coverage on the black and white television set, the adults very quiet. That night Mom and my sisters and little brother went out to eat, a rare event in those days. We went to the Traveler restaurant and all had hot beef sandwiches. Funny what stick in a person's memory.

Today my husband and I went for a walk at Oakhill cemetery. The weather here is very mild for November, and we thought we'd look at the old markers, and visit the grave of a close friend. She is buried on top of a hill that looks out over trees, and miles of fields. As we were coming back to our car, a white-tailed deer, a young doe, bounded across the markers ahead of us. I hope she stays safe.

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