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Still A Kicking

4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭
edited November 14 in General Discussion

This will probably be a long winded post. My apologies. I probably owe a explanation. Please don't you folks feel sorry for me. Thank you all for your concern. I have had a rough time of it for a couple of years now.

Started with my friend Bill about two years ago. He fought in Normandy and passed away around two years ago at 93 years old. Bill was a master carpenter and helped me remodel my house in the early days. I learned so much from Bill. He was on my Gun Clubs Pistol Team. This team had several NY State Champions for years and back in the day they shot shoulder to shoulder with the cadets at West Point and beat them. Bill was also a rifleman and shot big bore with me at Blue Trail, Ct. and several other places in NY. Bill was not a small bore shooter. I shot small bore in the Winter League at West Point for quite a few years.

Then my best friend in the whole world Gerhard (Gerry) passed away. We chased Whitetails for 55 years together in the Adirondack Forest Preserve and when we got to old we dropped down to the southern zone where the mountains were not as high. Gerry escaped the Communist sector in Berlin and came to this country for a better life. He was a Berlin trained tool and die maker and finished his last 20 years at IBM in R&D. On Saturday (Vet Day)I sat on a five gallon bucket next to Gerry's marker in Goshen Veterans Memorial Cemetery and wept. I was glad I went because they had installed a marker beneath Gerry's for his wife Ursula.

Then my friend John who was recording Secretary of my gun club passed away. He was my sponser and encouraged me to join club in 1964 I believe. We had same heart surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian and he also did Bill Clinton and Barbara Walters.

I will post now and continue on to make sure I can still post.

Just before Christmas last year, the love of my life Diane passed away after 59 years of marriage. Diane was the Deans Secretary at West Point and the Dean's office admin. I was Westy's driver at the Point. She had atypical tumor in left lobe the last two years of a six year care by me. By the "Grace of God" my daughter Heather and I kept her out of a nursing home. She passed away holding my son and daughter's hand in each of her hands at home.

I thought there is still hope for me. My little dog Willie is my Salvation. I will take my guns and Willie and get out of this Communist State of NY and go live in my house in Virginia. Then the end of March my little Willie passed away. In my 80 years, I have had three other dogs and nothing ever effected me like Willie's passing. Now i know, Ken and others are right, I should have probably looked for another dog. The pain in my heart was unbearable, I never loved anything/anybody like I loved Willie.

On September 26 my life long friend and Army buddy John from Piedmont, SC passed away. We had a long talk a couple days before. John and I were the last two in our company at Ft. Jackson in 1961 after basic and AIT to get orders and the only two that were sent to West Point. We never knew why. John was a sky diver and jumped at Stewart AFB via 2nd Aviation and at Wallkill. He tried so hard to get me to jump but I never did. In the early days John and his wife Katie came to visit my family at Lake Norman, NC ( where the Nascar drivers seem to live). In 2005 my Army buddy's and I had a reunion in Las Vegas and I took Diane with me. We had a great time. A few years back, John drove up from Piedmont, SC to visit with me while I worked on my house and property in Virginia. John was the real deal. My heart is broken over John but he will live there forever. RIP brother, Well done.

I came home Saturday night after sitting on that five gal. bucket in the Veterans Cemetery with my hunting partner's marker and thought maybe GOD has forgotten about me. The world is on FIRE now and he really has his hand's full. But you know he did not forget me and was watching over me the whole time.

On Sunday morning out of the clear blue sky my daughter Heather walked up behind me while I was on the computer and surprised me. It is a long 2+ hr. drive from upstate. She unzipped her jacket and there was the cutest little puppy I ever saw, just like my Willie. He commenced to licking my face and i was completely overwhelmed. He is eight weeks old and has the same personality as Willie. His name is Parker but I will call him Willie Junior maybe JR. My SIL has a good friend in Albany who is Amish. They use the barter system pretty often and his Amish friend has a friend in Norwich, NY who had Willie Junior. It was a complete surprise and my BIL in Houston and my daughter split the cost 50/50. I will probably lurk for a while as I will need to give Willie Junior lots of love and attention. ---------------------------------Ray



  • Toolman286Toolman286 Member Posts: 2,836 ✭✭✭✭

    Just a hearty "Welcome Back!"

  • Ditch-RunnerDitch-Runner Member Posts: 24,042 ✭✭✭✭

    good to hear from you.

    may your friends RIP.

    to me sounds like the rest of us lost out by never getting to meet those fine gentlemen and getting to spend any time with any one of them

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭

    Don't know why but pictures are coming thru kind of grainy and no color? -----------------Ray

  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 12,965 ******

    That cute pup is just the right medicine for you Ray!! So glad you have found a new friend!

  • tnrangertnranger Member Posts: 287 ✭✭✭

    Glad you've resurfaced. You have a lot of friends who've been worried.

  • NeoBlackdogNeoBlackdog Member Posts: 16,113 ✭✭✭✭

    Sure is dusty in here this mornin'...

    Glad you're back, Raymond! We expect lots of pictures of Junior!

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,054 ✭✭✭✭

    Happy to see you back here posting. Enjoy that cute pup

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    Tough read Ray, but Super glad you re-surfaced. The new Pup "Willie Jr." Is Awesome!!

    Glad you are back and posted. We've been worried about you.

    Still owe you a big hug.

    - Ken -

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • Horse Plains DrifterHorse Plains Drifter Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 39,018 ***** Forums Admin

    Glad to see you post, Ray. The whole lot of us were worried about you. Willie Jr. will have you back full of life in no time.

  • montanajoemontanajoe Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 57,347 ******

    Sorry for all you losses. Glad to see you back and posting. Willie JR is just so cute, happy you got him.

  • Lady Rae Lady Rae Member Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭✭

    You have two MIA threads because we worried. Probably because we love you. We expect millions of Willie Jr pictures ❤️ He is just darling.

    "Independence Now, Independence Forever."

    John Adams

  • Ruger4meRuger4me Member, Moderator Posts: 3,093 ******

    Great to see you posting again, don't be a stranger and post pics often so we can enjoy the new pup with you.

  • waltermoewaltermoe Member Posts: 1,552 ✭✭✭✭

    Raymond, you are a good man, you are a man that speaks from the heart with truth and virtue. We are all honored to have you share your life here with us and allowing us to call you are friend.

    And please share Willie J s future exploits with us.

  • William81William81 Member Posts: 24,196 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for updating us....sorry to hear of your losses.. Jr. should be a great little friend.

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    Very well said, Sir.

    We're gonna want to see pics of that Pup, growing up.

    Too cute.

    I want one.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • OakieOakie Member Posts: 40,489 ✭✭✭✭

    That was an emotional read, with a super happy ending!!!!!!!!!!!. So glad you are back , even if you are just lurking. May God bless you with many years of Happiness, with Jr. 😊. Oakie

  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member, Moderator Posts: 65,879 ******

    Glad you're still kickin' many prayers from here sir.

    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 15

    Me and my Army buddies in 1962. My best friend in the Army that passed away Sept 26th, John from Piedmont, SC is in middle of 1st row. Vern on bottom far right worked for NASA. I am the ugly one on top far right. I was Westy's driver and Fisher bottom far left was the Dean's driver. One of the fellows was a solid fuel rocket guy. I think John and I were maybe the only RA's (enlisted) Rest were drafted. Back in the day they came from all walks of life. ----------------Ray

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    What a Cutie. 👍😁

    Liked the picture of you guys in Khaki's. I remember when they discontinued Khaki's while I was in, roughly 1982ish. I hated that. Loved wearing the Khaki. Remember my Dad coming home in them forever.

    Great to see you back, Ray.

    *What'd I say? New Puppy, just the ticket.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭

    Ken, most of the guys wore Khaki's. john and I wore TW's I think they called them ( tropical worsted ?) Westy's Aides were pretty fussy about my appearance. Had to be Gung Ho. The cleaners put pleats down both sides of TW shirts. They were kinda nice this time of year because they were a little warmer. Not so nice in heat of summer. -----------------------------Ray

  • Kevin_LKevin_L Member Posts: 1,101 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 16

    Ray, you've been thru a lot recently. Enough to break a man and yet you've shown nothing but grace and dignity thru the toughest of times.

    You sir are a credit to all men, the kind of person I hope I can be should such tragedy ever befall me.

    I'm glad to know you, even if it's just here on these forums.

    "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 🍺 🇺🇲 🍔

  • boogerbooger Member Posts: 1,443 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting, great reading. Willy looks like he's right at home.

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭

    Today was Willie Juniors first day outside. He is so tiny at 8 weeks and not much bigger than my hand, He found one leaf in my backyard and pounced on it. Really wears himself out playing and has to take a nap in my lap.

    Ken, was thinking, since he likes leaves so much, I wondered if there is a way to teach him to shoot leaves when he gets a little older? How's Buddy doing? Any leaves left to shoot down in your hollow? 😀 ---------------------------------Ray

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    "Et Tu, Brutus?"

    Sigh,..................I only shoot floating leaves in our pond, on occasion. I don't blast away at all leaves. I don't shoot by the house too much anyway, because Buddy does not like it. If he is outside and anyone around us shoots, he will immediately hit the door, wanting in.

    Buddy is great, Ray. I should have it so good. 👍😁

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • Lady Rae Lady Rae Member Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭✭

    Willie Jr hit the jackpot with you Ray... By the way Parker is a nice name also. Keep us posted on jr's growing up we don't want to miss a minute.

    "Independence Now, Independence Forever."

    John Adams

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    "Parker," was the name the shelter gave my dog Buddy. It just gravitated to "Buddy," because that's what I called him, over time.

    One of Life's little coincidences, Ray.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 17

    Ken, amazing that Buddy's name was Parker also. Your hollow looks very natural and peaceful. Looks a little swampy off to the right. Bet the peepers sound great in the spring. All the leaves are gone up in Delaware County where my daughter lives and only a few left in Monroe. Guess i thought you shot off your deck. Did not realize Buddy is gun shy. Willie Jr. has already chewed a hole in my old flannel shirt next to my elbow. When he gets tired of chewing he lays his head down on my arm and stares out the window and falls asleep .Loves to chew on my sneaker strings. Willie Jr. is like a carbon copy of Willie in every way. I sure love this little pup. ---------------------------------Ray

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 17

    That picture is a few weeks back, Ray. The leaves are long gone now. No swampy areas of the pond, solid bank all the way around. That photo makes it hard to really see it. Spring fed, creek runs out the front right corner (out of view) in my photo. People who have lived in this holler for many years, are amazed we have a pond here. Sshh.....................🤐

    Although I like to shoot off the deck, I always keep my Buddy in mind.

    *If you enlarge the photo and look at the far right hand rear bank, you can see my buddies 1920 Sampson/Armstrong Tractor with a skeleton driving it.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,054 ✭✭✭✭

    Cool picture... Looks like a 1960 Ford Fairlane in the background

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭

    Kevin, likewise, I am glad to know you. This morning when i opened the cage to greet my little buddy Willie Jr. I could feel the presence of my sweetheart Diane cheering me on. With God's help and her help, Willie Jr's help, my two kids, and you wonderful Folks here on the "Forum" I will keep on plugging.

    My dear old long gone friend who was the class goat in April 1917 USMA use to remind me constantly, "Ray, the way to keep going is don't stop" ---------------------------Ray

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭

    "Pa, I am getting sleepy" ---------------------Willie Jr.

    " Pa, please tuck me in my bed, I am so sleepy" ---------------Willie Jr.

    Goodnight Willie Jr. and all. ---------------------------------Ray

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,054 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh no, he won’t be spoiled. 😀

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    Love It!!! 👍😁

    I'd get one in a heartbeat, if Buddy would allow it.

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • Lady Rae Lady Rae Member Posts: 1,518 ✭✭✭✭

    Lucky you Ray.... Your daughter should be commended. After all girls love there Dear Old Dad's 😻 Willie Jr is getting cuter my the minute. 🥰😍😘

    "Independence Now, Independence Forever."

    John Adams

  • austin20austin20 Member Posts: 34,054 ✭✭✭✭

    In my next life I wanna come back as one of Rae or Rays dogs.

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 11,729 ✭✭✭✭

    Dang it, now I want a Jack Russell. Bad. 🤔

    Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁

  • 4205raymond4205raymond Member Posts: 2,980 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 18

    Ken, read a story recently about a Jack Russel that sat by his hiker owner I think in Colorado for over 20 days. Sadly the owner passed away but the Jack Russel survived. ------------------------Ray

    Correction: Found it. Jack Russel stayed with his owner for 72 days before a hunter found owners body at Blackhead Peak near Pagosa Springs, Co. Yes, the Jack Russel (man's best friend) survived.

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