The Rock Wall

Posted March 21, 2013 at 9:18 am

The community lost two old friends this week.

I’ve known of Joe Hendricks all my life. His son, Randy, was in high school when I was.

During a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the City Cemetery one year, Joe made a suggestion – that I interview WWII prisoners of war. I followed his advice and it was a rewarding experience meeting and interviewing the former POWs and relaying their stories to you.

We first met Ike and Winnie Burrow when their son, Carl, worked for us maybe 30 years ago. Ike was a quiet man with a good sense of humor. And he had a distinctive “tell” – when he was eating ice cream and coughed, his family would remark that he was about full.

I’ve talked to Ike and Winnie many times about their pride and joy, Carl, who went on to be a highly successful software executive. Then Carl married Lindy and they gave Ike and Winnie two grandsons, who also became their pride and joy.

I’ve got to tell you that Ike and Winnie loved to report that Lindy said it was the happiest day of her life when Carl retired early and could stay home. Then the second happiest day of Lindy’s life was when a company recruited Carl and he went back to work.

– No matter what good deed you try to do, it may cause a stink.

Tuesday morning as I was headed to work, Dwain Witt stopped his pickup as we met and rolled down the window, so I stopped. He and his son, Les, thought they had spotted a big hole in the middle of Road 501 a few yards back. As I pulled away, I drove beside it and looked down to about China.

I called the Cedar County Clerk’s office on my cell phone and told Marlon Collins the problem. Later he called the office and told Mary the road crew had fixed it, but there was a complication. They had to run a skunk out of the hole.

– Don’t mess with old people. You cannot win. I received this report:

I am a sick old man. I was sick and in the hospital.

There was one nurse that just drove me crazy. Every time she came in, she would talk to me like I was a little child. She would say in a patronizing tone of voice, “And how are we doing this morning?” Or “Are we ready for a bath?” Or “Are we hungry?”

I had enough. One day at breakfast, I took the apple juice off the tray and put it in my bedside stand. Later, I was given a urine bottle to fill for testing. You know where the juice went.

The nurse came in a little later, picked up the urine bottle and looked at it. “My, it seems we are a little cloudy today.”

At this, I snatched the bottle out of her hand, popped off the top and drank it down, saying, “Well, I’ll run it through again. Maybe I can filter it better this time.”

The nurse fainted.