“Sol” For Short
By Ray Gold
He was a very unusual individual.
I feel that in my own words, I would like to write a few lines about a
person whom I am very proud to have known. Such a person is seldom
known by those who knew him. I was always glad to see him and his family
coming to our house.
It will be hard to describe
him as we all knew him. in short “they just don’t make em like that any
more.” I always thought of him as a legend that I admired. It was
the way he approached you or any conversation or subject that might arise.
You could always depend on him to take the attitude that he thought was
just and honorable thing for all concerned. It seemed like that when he
talked, “ we all listened” and almost always agreed with him. He
was a very honest person, and yet witty and pleasant to be around. We always
had as few good laughs out of something he would tell about. We all knew
that it was usually safe to kid and tease him a little, and he always liked
it. But then if he was serious about a subject, we knew to not kid him
about that subject. Because it seemed as if we wanted him to tell
it like he saw it. He was not unreasonable in any discussion.
I will, to the best of my recollection
and ability, write down a few of the little things that happened during
the fifty some years that I knew him. Then perhaps you will see and get
a feeling of what kind of a person he was. Of course I married his sister
“Ruby”. And he came around quite often. He liked to tease her. When Ruby
and I were first married and moved here and set up housekeeping.
He showed up here to hello us get organized. He didn’t even have a out-house,
we had to go to the brush, or where ever we could, when mother nature called.
About the first day after we moved here, Sol and I were working out side
and he saw Ruby coming out from behind a big brier patch and she coughed
several times, and he hollered at her and got a big laugh out of seeing
her come out of there. He always teased her, and say ke-hook, ka-hook,
she would always know what he was referring to, and that would set off
a big laugh about any time. They always had fun when they were together,
and we all knew that they were real close.
Of course she soon got even
with him; about the next day he was helpin me fix the flue in the old house.
He was the first one up the ladder, looked down in the flue and said no
wonder the flue won’t draw. It is all stopped up with snut, Ruby said,
“what did you say”? He said it is just full of snut, so she always kidded
him about calling it snut, instead of smut, and that stayed with him for
a long time. That is just a sample of how they got along with each other.
By the way, I soon built a out-house, ha ha , and we used it for about
the next fifteen years, when we put in indoor toilet.
When we visited each other,
it was not uncommon for us to go rabbit or squirrel hunting. If we run
a rabbit in a hole in the ground. He almost always wanted to dig it out.
He could dig more with a stick than I could with a pick. He always
carried a sharp knife, you could shave with any blade in the knife. He
could bend a small bush over and cut it in a couple whacks. Then he could
sharpen it and dig the rabbit out in no time. We would go squirrel hunting
in the timber. If he couldn’t find a squirrel running, or up in tree, He
wasn’t discouraged, He would find a hollow tree, and climb up that tree,
no matter how big the tree or how high it was up the tree to the hole in
the tree. He would walk up to the tree, get grip on it and skin right up
that tree. He could climb better than any one I ever saw. He never saw
a tree he couldn’t climb. It didn’t matter how far it was to the first
limb or how slick or rough the bark was. He would get up there and
cut him a limb and make a forked stick and run it up or down in the hollow
tree. Sometimes he would twist out a possum, one time he got a owl out
of that hole.
One time we was going up a ditch
in the timber, our dog treed under a big thin loose flat rock. We took
a pole and slid it over. A big yellow woods cat came out from under that
rock and went up a tree, of course that is just what we wanted it to do.
He shot the cat and it fell out and when it hit the ground the dog grabbed
and shook it, but it was already dead, that was the biggest cat I ever
saw. It was fat and clumsy and didn’t climb the tree very fast like a house
cat would have done. We guessed it to weigh between 20 and 25 pounds.
Sol never bragged or boasted about
these things that he did so easy. He could do about anything. He was a
good blacksmith, carpenter, welder, and electrician. He was a good handman
for about anything that went wrong around the house and out on the farm.
He knew how to keep things going.
He was a pleasant, good-natured person
that anyone would be proud to have as a brother-in-law. If he liked you
he would do about anything for you.
He worked for Mr. Otis White on his
dairy near Springfield, Mr. White also saw these good unusual characteristics
that Clovis had. So he could almost see the light at the end of any tunnel.
So , [Mr. White] named him;” Sunshine” or “Sol” for short.
He also had a lot of nerve,
I’ve seen him cut his hand or finger, and he would get the salt shaker
and put salt on the wound, ha, ha. Of course it cured right up, but unless
you are pretty gritty, don’t try it, it might hurt more than you think,
We have had a lot of good times
together, and this is just a little sample of what it was like to have
known this very unusual person, and especially to have him as a brother-in-law,
and friend. To me, he is a legend and inspiration to us all.
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