UNEXPECTED VISIT

The truth is I was napping,

And so faintly he came tapping,

As of someone gently rapping,

Tapping at my chamber door.

I’m always looking for the chance to paraphrase Poe. It happened yesterday, mid-morning. There was my old buddy, Marvin Segreaves, knocking at my door.

Marvin would agree with me. At the tender age of 94, there is license to refer to him as old. He wouldn’t get his knickers in a twist over it.. He knows he’s old . He’s a walking history book, and proud of it.

Marvin was accompanied by township Committeeman, Jim Kieran. The two of them are good buds, also. It’s not as though Marvin has any compulsion to hang out with politicians. It’s just a local friends thing. They sat in our living room and we all chatted for an hour or so.

So what brought Marvin to our neck of the woods ? Coyote hunting.

That’s right. . It’s a common pastime for most any 94 year old. The temperature was borderline hot, perfect weather for the elder woodsman to work up a good sweat.

They’d already gone hunting. No luck. Coyotes are a tough hunt.

Marvin has a sort of nervous verbal tick. In conversation, he repeatedly asks, “know what I mean ?” Invariably we got to talking about the old days. Like so many men locally, he worked “down to the mill.” That was, of course, the recently razed Curtis Paper Mill. Know what I mean ?

Marvin wasn’t a farmer, though he owned 150 or so acres. Local chaps tilled his ground and paid him rent. It occurs to me, as it did to Marvin many decades ago, that that’s a much easier way to farm. But, some of us are a little slow on the take. Know what I mean ?

Eventually it came time for Marvin and Jim to get on down the road. As their truck disappeared into the woods I had a melancholy thought. I’ll only get so many more visits from my good friend Marvin. And what a friend he’s been over the years.

They don’t make them like Marvin anymore. Know what I mean ?

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