News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mike Lunsford

October 4, 2009

THE OFF SEASON: In praise of old men

I remember the days of driving into town with my grandfather many years ago, sometimes on a Saturday morning to the lumber yard or over to his church to mow grass; he would often comment on the people he waved to from the rolled-down window of his pick-up.

He would tell stories associated with the folks I saw from the front seat of that old truck, and often they’d wave back and yell some unintelligible remark from the street corner they stood on or the front porch they swept or the bench from which they spit. Most were, as I saw them, anyway, ancient.

Nearly always, my granddad would point to a particular old fellow in overalls and straw hat and say, “He’s a rough old bird; worked in the mines for years,” or to some other equally aged resident: “I’ve known him for 50 years…” I couldn’t imagine knowing anyone a half-century; it was unfathomable to me then.

Now, when I think of the people who have had strong influences on my life, I reach backward toward the old men who crossed paths with me in my journeys. By the time we met, most had reached a point in life where they felt it unnecessary to make big jumps, particularly when a small hop or two would do. They were comfortable in their skins in spite of their liver-spotted hands and rheumy eyes and thinned hair.

I am thankful for these old characters, men who were as real as the soil under my feet and the air that I breathed; they were men without pretension … genuine and honest.

The first of those old birds was, of course, my grandfather, himself, but I’ll not talk anymore of him today. I have already said much about him in the past and have placed the memory of him high on a shelf where others don’t seem to be able to touch him anymore. I’ve mentioned Salty Seamon, too; I grew up near his place out on the County Line Road, but I have already devoted stories to him and his paints, as well.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Mike Lunsford
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity