Posted by: JDM..... | August 20, 2014

Two chairs.….

A little over two years ago, I wrote a small item about meeting a neighbor of mine on my way back from walking to the post office. I spoke with Eldon from time to time after that day, and never forgot to thank him on Veterans Day and at other appropriate times. If you recall the item of July 13, 2012 , you may remember that he was a WW II veteran who had come home decorated with a number of medals and more than his share of lead.

Last fall, I didn’t see as much of him walking to town as I was accustomed to, but he and his wife were almost always sitting out front in their two white lawn chairs when I’d walk to the Post Office, and we’d wave and comment on the weather.

Eldon passed away this June, at the age of 92, surrounded by family and friends, at home in the house he had built back in 1948. As a matter of fact, for the last three or four months of his remarkable life, he and his wife of 66 years were rarely if ever alone. It wasn’t unusual for there to be two or three cars in the driveway, which, incidentally, he seal-coated himself about three years ago. One of the neighbors had started snow-blowing the driveway for him last winter, and has been taking care of the lawn this summer as well, checking in on Eldon’s widow just about every day. Our village is like that. I didn’t know there were many such places left until we moved here.

Eldon was a remarkable man, and I wish I had known him better. The image of that fit and trim, ninety year old man, in his blaze orange vest, marching purposely down the highway breakdown lane, a couple of miles from home, is etched permanently in my memory. Sometimes, I’d pass him on his return trip, with a newspaper tucked under his arm. He liked to read the paper every day, and I know the nearest place to buy one in this part of rural Maine is two and a half miles away.

I still see his wife from time to time, when I walk to the Post Office. I wave, she smiles, and waves back from where she sits in her white lawn chair, in its usual spot by the side of the driveway. There is always another white chair there, too, but it is empty now.

At least, that’s the way it looks to me. I’m not sure she would agree.

Well done, Eldon.

…and, thanks.


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