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“The Man”
“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, ha, ha.
     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.


Copyright 2001