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Author: Subject: Donna's Uncle Joe

True Peach





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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 05:43 PM
Donnas’ uncle Joe died early yesterday. He’d been sick with cancer for quite a while, yet he never let his illness keep him down. Joe was a devout and spiritual person to the degree that instead of dreading death, he seemed to look forward to his final reward. His was a faith of the type that I haven’t seen that often.

If you’re from the Deep South, you likely know or have met an uncle Joe or two in your time. Being deeply religious, Joe would spout verse and quote the Bible often. Some might have deemed him as being a little high and mighty at times. Some might have been a little put off by this aspect of Joe, but I found him to be one of the most interesting people that I have ever met.

With money out of his own pocket, tools and lumber from his own shed and with sweat from his own brow Joe built a small wooden church that still stands and is still in use.

Joe was never one to turn away from a person who needed a helping hand or a dollar or two. A lot of folks talk about helping the needy and the under privileged . They pay lip service, but when the time comes to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, or write a check – they quickly disappear or find themselves “too busy”.. Joe wasn’t like this. Turning a blind eye wasn’t Jesus’ way. Joe talked the talk and walked the walk.

Joe was raised in the Alabama country. He never received education on any high level, but he was self -taught in so many areas to the point where experts and scholars on certain subjects sought him out for advice and information.

Joe was an avid amateur (“amateur” only because he wasn’t educated) archeologist and geologist. He had huge collections of stones, fossils and relics that will likely wind up in museums. He had an amazing natural knack for finding things like arrowheads and pottery shards. Driving down a country road once, he spotted a hillside on a river bend. “Stop the car and I’ll find you an arrowhead”, said Joe. The driver was astounded when after less than 30 minutes had passed, Joe produced three distinguishable spearheads and a broken section of pottery. His garages and barns are full of such relics.

Joe was an outdoorsman of the type that I have never seen equaled. As a fisherman, he never came home with an empty stringer. There are many stories I could tell, but I’ll only relate two or three here.

About 8 years ago, Joe actually caught a deer – live – with his bare hands. He was stepping out of his barn when he heard the sound of clomping hooves. He turned and saw a startled deer tearing around the corner of his barn. “It happened so fast”, he told me. Instinctively, and without forethought Joe threw his hands up and grabbed the buck’s antlers. He wrestled the deer to the ground until it calmed down then let it back to its feet where it walked away slowly.

Donna and I visited him a month ago when he was bed ridden. He pulled out an album of pictures of many trophy Bass that he had caught over the years. He told me the secret to catching these large mouths. “First, use a small hook and catch yourself a little Bream. “Take the Bream and run a line through its gills and out its mouth and tie it– you don’t need a hook”. “Now, cast that Bream out there and just wait. “You’ll feel a nibble or two – but don’t pull in just yet. “Give that bass a second or two to eat the Bream. “Once you feel him swallow – reel him on in”. Genius!

He worked hard all of his life as a homebuilder and it paid off. He developed some investment savvy along the way. In short, Joe did alright for himself and his family. Yet, he was still frugal in certain senses and situations.

Once while fishing, Joe’s favorite plastic worm broke off of his line. This plastic worm might have cost $2.00 (a high guess). The worm was out there floating in the stream … but Joe wanted it back.

There is a little bug down in the south called a Hellgrammite. I think the actual term is a Dobson’s Fly or something like that. I’m not sure, but to folks like Joe they’re known as Hellgrammites (Google it!). Well these Hellgrammites are nasty little grabbing creatures. Joe wanted his plastic worm back when the genius bug bit him. He found one of these Hellgrammites under a rock, placed it on his hook and began casting out towards the floating plastic worm. On about the third cast he was able to drag the line over the worm. The Hellgrammite grabbed onto it and Joe reeled it in. Joe had successfully retrieved his prized plastic worm! Again – genius!

Donna and I will be driving back up to Birmingham this weekend for the funeral. There will be sadness at some level – as with all funerals. But there is the bittersweet silver lining to this dark cloud. Joe has gone on to his reward. If there is a heaven, he will be reunited with his wife of over 60 years – who died several years ago while being cared for by Joe.

I’ve typed all this stuff up and I’m not sure exactly why. Y’all didn’t know Joe and that’s too bad. But if Joe had a philosophy it might be that there’s always something good out there.

Go with that.

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.
People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.

Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 
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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 05:59 PM
quote:
I’ve typed all this stuff up and I’m not sure exactly why. Y’all didn’t know Joe

Doesn't matter...positive vibes sent to Donna, and you.

 

____________________
Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 06:05 PM
Hey Rusty and Donna,

So sorry to hear that you guys are grieving again.

May you find some degree of comfort during this difficult time.


 

A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 06:24 PM
I am sorry for your loss.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 06:32 PM
I appreciate the condolences - but this story was to share with you what an amazing man uncle Joe was! A life well lived celebrated!

[Edited on 11/6/2014 by Rusty]

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Sublime Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 07:02 PM
Condolences to you Rusty , Donna family and friends..

Beautifully written .. love and respect is grand.. until you meet again... Prayers...

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 08:22 PM
Rusty may you and Donna find comfort in the example of Joe's life. I am sure it must have been a true joy to know him.

 

____________________
�In memory, everything seems to happen to music.�

Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie


 

True Peach



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  posted on 11/6/2014 at 10:28 PM
So sorry for your loss....

And on the other hand I have had Uncles like that in my life too. Guys that you just wanted to listen to and hang out with all day long.

And I too miss them so much

 

____________________
"Political correctness is a doctrine -- fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by mainstream media -- which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of $hit by the clean end."

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/7/2014 at 08:43 AM
Well written Rusty. Rest in Peace Uncle Joe.

 

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The Road Goes On Forever and It's A Long Strange Trip Indeed.

 
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  posted on 11/7/2014 at 11:19 AM
oh wow! my kind of man <3 most sincere condolences from the McFamily to yours..Love to you & Donna always..thanks 4 sharing..

my Mom had an Uncle Joey..he was always feeling too good, till the day he died, a lucky man

but when he did pass, the Family learned he was a WW1 hero when Marines came to my Mom's Aunt's house (Uncle Joey's Sister) to present her with Purple Heart medals and others that he had kept secret from the Family all the years following that war.

There was a funeral procession and parade compliments of the Marines, complete with 21 gun salute..

I want to say down Church AVE, maybe it was Ocean Blvd, cant swear to what road..

Your Uncle Joe sounds even more like my Nana , but in masculine terms. As a young widow, with 4 surviving children ( she lost twin toddlers to pneumonia, and a baby too, or there would have been 7, God love her ) she crocheted Irish lace , linens and clothing for rich women , to support herself and the 4 remaining young children.

When she passed, seemed like all of BKLYN lined up & down the streets to honor her and attend her wake, to the surprise (awe) of the Family.

At one time or other, she had shared what little she had with someone less fortunate..

Not even South Bklyn (which was so nice) closer to East New York (not so nice, but survivable) I dunno, Bklyn, that little Country stronghold in the heart of NYC.

Maybe not just a Southern thing imho...It's all the oldtimers methinks..What I want to know, who the hell will fill their shoes if not us?

To Uncle Joes everywhere, hear hear!


with love & prayers xoxox Ca

[Edited on 11/7/2014 by Carol]

 
 


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