The end of a wonderful correspondence

 

gramps1

Dear Dr. Doolittle Here’s a forthcoming colm from ‘ol hoss. Read and comment, please:

Sometimes I start out writing a b**g and forget what it was supposed to be about.  You’ve never done that.  Me, I start out writing about winter squash and first thing you know I’m fishing in Mud Puppy Lake.

 Here’s a persample:  I found this youtube thing the other day and captured it for my b**g.  Put it where you see it now — and promptly forgot what it was all about.  It could have been about finding long-necky dinosaurs in Montana, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.  It, more likely, was about dung beetles in Tumbuktu, but I’m not sure. And then suddenly it dawns upon me!  It is about The Finger.  And not just any Finger, but The Deadly Fickle Finger of Fate!  Let’s look in and see.  Maybe it’s not so bad…….

 + + + + + + + +

In 1887, Mikele Mebembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University in Illinois.  On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.  The elephant seemed distressed, so Mikele approached it very carefully.

 He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant’s foot.  There, he found a large piece of wood embedded in it.  As carefully and as gently as he could, Mikele worked the wood out with his knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.  The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.  Mikele stood frozen, thinking of nothing other than being trampled.

 Eventually, the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away.  Mikele never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

 Twenty years later, Mikele was walking through the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago with his teenage son.  As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mikele and his son were standing.  The large bull elephant stared at Mikele, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.  The elephant did that several timnes, then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

 Remembering the encounter in 1987, Mikele couldn’t help wondering if this was the same elephant.  Mikele summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.  He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.  The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped his trunk around one of Mikele’s legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.  

Probably wasn’t the same elephant.

Yours, Hossie

____________________________________________

Darlin’ Hossie,

I like your column- so publish. At which point I will comment that we no longer keep elephants at said zoo because they belong in the wild where they are free to kneecap tourists. I am curious about the fickle finger of fate- perhaps I will go do a YouTube search. Snuggle the dog and the woman. V

______________________________________________________________________________

Hi, Sweet Gene,

Best thing this week was the polar bear christmas card I got this morning! Great seasonal letter, too. Tell Scamp she doesn’t look to be nearly 29, let alone 39. Thank you both for the lovely greeting.
I’m okay-had an extraction of upper molar and a bone implant- it was very rough because I ate so much Wonder Bread as a child- builds strong jaw bones 12 ways. In process they hairline cracked jaw. Hurts, hurts, hurts like the dickens. Overall, tis nothing and will heal soon enough. Then they will put in an implant tooth in the new bone- which came from a person and a pig. I would have preferred a meerkat and a dung beetle. Oh, well.

Also, Bud is in Marquette Hospital with kidney and heart problems- he was supposed to be winging his way to us for the holidays. We shall see what the next few days bring. I was in Florida last week for holiday house tour- 1247 people came through in 5 hours- yikes! Who’s dumb idea was that?? Pictures attached. They did give us nice  painting of the house- you can see it in the one pix.

And how goes it with you, dear friend?  I want to see you and touch you but I can’t figure out how to do that at the moment. Good you have Sylvia and me, my Rich. He took a picture of the inside of my mouth today for fun and entertainment. Oral surgeon wanted to see it by e-mail and responded that, given the 10 inches of snow and more coming, I should just drink up and see what tomorrow brings.
Love, V                  

___________________________________________
Dear Susan B. Anthony
I, too, am nervous about this election.  But I am saving some nerves for later, since nothing will be decided tonight.  I have my game plan in place, though:  If Obama wins the nomination, all is well.  If Hillary wins, then I gotta vote for McCain.  Simple, when I think about it.
 Looks as if you are eating well down south.  Happily for me, I don’t like crab, finding it tasteless.  So I am missing nothing.
 I am feeling swell, by the by.  Today was a very good day, breath-wise.  I know I’ll never get well, but there’s a lot to be said for being comfortable.
 Love and hugs, Patrick Henrietta
___________________________________
Dear Boris,
Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield, Illinois; One from Chicago, another from Tennessee, & a third from Kentucky .
They all go with Blagojevich to examine the fence.
The Tennessee contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well”, he says, “I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The Kentucky contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, ‘I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me.’
The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to Blagojevich and whispers, ‘$2,700.’
Blagojevich,incredulous, whispers back, ‘You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?’
The Chicago contractor whispers back, ‘$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire that guy from Kentucky to fix the fence.’
Yours,  Natasha Fatale
_______________________________________
You,
That’s a beauty of a joke, of which I will want leave to use promptly. 
Thank you.
When do you move to North C?  It sounds like a swell place and I know you 
will make it proud of you.  Like I am.
Gene,oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo 
___________________________________________
Thanks for the neat catalog, Ms. Boleyn.  I noticed a docent (not you) wearing what seems to be Boy Scout merit badge outfit.  But, more than that, I noticed a dung beetle sort of at work (we are kind of lazy, actually).  And that’s why you sent this, right?  I can smell a rat from Oregon to Illinois.
 
Henry the 8th I am I am
_________________________________
Dear Miss Nightingale:
 You are a savior!
 Gen. Pershing
____________________________________
Dear Seabiscuit:
 
The old “Perfect Post” thing comes up once a month, so it figures that I would get around to you once again because you’re so Perfectly Pretty and Post-it Note.  I told Momma K. you were the Perfect Post for June for your tale of Rich and the compactor, which was accompanied by sexy molasses cookies. So herewith the Perfect Post button.  Put this in your template, if you will.
Your admirer,
 Man ‘o’ War
__________________________________
Catherine:
 
Hah!  Caught you not reading my b**g!
 I used this joke about a month ago.  But keep trying.  I have had 667 posts, and I doubt you memorized them all.
 
Rasputin
______________________________________
Hi Clyde-
I love seeing pictures of you on vacation in Hawaii although, frankly my dear, you are looking just a bit tired. Have I said how often I thank Big Ernie that you have your Scamp? She’s lovely (great pix of her) and a wonderful sport to push you hither and yon-especially to the zoo, because that’s where it’s all happening, of course. I love you, dear, and I’m thinking I might be up for a visit to Oregon at some point. I would like to see you again. Remember the very first time I came to see you in the old fart home? What goes around comes around and Scamp must have found that lovable, smart and funny piece of you, you lucky guy. You know, there may not be a Big Ernie- who knows?- but there is certainly Christian love (the kind that has to do with forgiveness, tolerance, forbearance and what have you) all over your old opinionated ass. I’m so thankful for that.

Listen, do me a favor and make sure Scamp has my e-mail so she can send me top secret, double handshake updates on how you are doing. Did I mention that I love you? As my mother, Jan, used to say, stop sniveling or I’ll give you something to snivel about. And, btw, your hotel lobby looks almost-not quite, but almost- like the Bellagio. Bud and Rich send regards and love.
As ever, Bonnie
___________________________
me-myself-onlyHi Princess Iolani:
 
Thanks for the wonderful note.  And I have to admit that I have less wind than when we were in Vegas.  So that explains the tired look.  But I am getting along okay — so far so good and so it goes.
 I’ll have Scamp write you either from here or from Wilsonville.  We are scheduled to return Oct. 16, but might go back sooner than that.
 Never thought I’d have a pusher for a girl friend.
 Duke Kamehama
_________________________________________

Vicki – we were hoping to hear from you. My early report to a friend here is below, written before hospice arrived. They are truly a gift, and he is in good hands. Morphine and Lorazepam – called comfort drugs – have given him the best day he’s had in weeks, thanks to Hospice. Wonder why the pulmonologist who sent him for 2 days in the hospital didn’t think of it. The new chair allows a reclining position and easy in and out – fabulous. More later. Time to feed the man.

 Happy Thanksgiving to you both. Sylvia

 The beach was gorgeous all Saturday. Back, and Gene hospitalized Mon-Wed, but failed to improve breathing and he continues to decline rapidly. Hospice arrives today and  the wheels of assisted suicide are in motion, both at his request.

__________________________________________
—– Original Message —–
From: Vicki
To: Gene 
Subject: Dung beetles don’t know fear

Dear Demosthenes,

Well, maybe they worry about getting stepped on by elephants. But don’t worry or be afraid, dear friend. I wrote the note below to Sylvia and then I thought, well, anything I say to her I can say to you. Most of all, I want to tell you directly that I love you. Write if you can.
Always, Penelope


Begin forwarded message:
From: Vicki 
To: Sylvia  
Subject: Re: gene

Dear Sylvia (and Gene)


I have to say, your note breaks my heart. Never in such a short time and in such odd fashion have I come to know and love such a smart, funny curmudgeon. The wonderful thing about Gene, for me, is that he has lead such a remarkably rich and human life: full of adventures, women, mistakes, friendships, children, good works and great good humor. A true Renaissance dung beetle if ever there has been one. It will be a significant loss to those who have been touched by him, in life and via his writing in the b**g neighborhood, when he is no longer alive. 

What, oh what can I do to help the two of you? And what will Gene allow me to say, when the time is right, on my blog? He was one of my earliest and most devoted readers, he followed closely through my mother’s death and then came to be friends with Bud. And he’s the only man I’ve ever been to Vegas with- we had some fun playing the slots and watching Cirque. How amazing! 

I want you to please tell him that I love him so much, that I think he’s one lucky sumbitch for the life he has led- and to please not be afraid. Big Ernie or dung beetle, there’s something good in store for him. Sometimes a good thing is an absence of a bad thing and this breathing has been bad for some time. Personally, I am holding on to the notion of Big Ernie setting him up at a very fine desk with the best computer ever, working at the speed of light. Gene will be put in charge of the St. Peter jokes.
The same  thing that has made it hard for me to comment at  Old Horsetail lately makes it hard to write anymore but I am here. I wish I was there to help you with feeding, hand holding and just to chat- but I am here. Loving him, loving you for loving him. 
My phone number again is … Call anytime, night or day. And seriously, you need to tell me what, if anything, I can say to all those who care for him via the world wide web. I could publish his funny obit for him if he wants…
Hugs to you both. I hope he’s in a medicated daze, watching football today. Rich sends his heartfelt love and concern. V
________________________________________
Dear Sister Carrie,
You’re so kind.  I love you too!
 Actually, with two new medicines I am feeling better.  Not having to breathe so deep to get some air.
 Honest, I AM better, so I am not going to kill myself anytime soon.
 
Sylvia mentioned my obit, which I have written and have on standby.  Maybe I’ll lighten it up some more and run it for practice.  With appropriate warnings, of course.
 You are my all-time favorite b**gger, so your words mean a lot to me.  Thanks, Ted
_______________________________________________________

A number of weeks later… 

I am in fine fettle, oxygen is 97-98, and pulse is 77 at rest.  Those are goodest numbers.
 I have been on Hospice 3 months.  They are disappointed that I am not dying fast enough.  So it goes.
 Gene
                                                      ______________________________________________
Lowell Gene Maudlin 
Born Oct. 1 and 2, 1930
Died March 10, 2009
            Gene died today utilizing Oregon’s Death with Dignity plan. He was tuckered out from trying to breathe. His Scamp was with him at Hospice Hopewell House.
            Lowell Gene Maudlin died too soon for me but I’m glad he’s resting and breathing easy with his Big Ernie. I met Gene the summer after we each began blo**ing in Spring of 2005. He was still in the home for Old Folks then, with his wife, Betty. Betty subsequently died of  Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, choosing to use Oregon’s Death with Dignity program. Sad but not beat, Gene, always resourceful, reconnected via his blog, with his Scamp (Sylvia)- previous wife and mother of his children. She was the angel of Gene’s final 3 years, letting bygones be bygones and falling in love anew with an amazingly smart, funny, and loving rapscallion of a man.
            Gene was one of those individuals who engineered a lot of his own fate, for worse and for better. Once, holed up together in the Bellagio in Las Vegas Gene talked with me about the choices he had made that influenced his relationships, his health, and ultimately his death. The Bellagio story is a long one some of you know, but briefly, it was a bloggers convention of sorts, where I posed as Gene’s “eye candy nurse” and pushed him around in a chair with his oxygen. We played the slots, had loge seats for Cirque’s “O” and ate well. Gene paid for the suite and I absconded with a suitcase full of fine hotel soap. Gene was sure he was going to die any minute and was happy to spend his pile on this trip that I didn’t want to take and wasn’t prepared to make so soon after my own mother’s death. Hoo-boy howdy, am I glad that I did because I have amazing memories of those 4 days.
           Gene was able to fully enjoy much of his time once he was rescued from the old folks home by Syliva.  They had a lovely home together where Gene began bird-watching and posting pictures. He and Sylvia traveled to Hawaii and they went on road trips along the PNW coast and visited with family. Most of all, during his final years, he had his Scamp, loving him and caring for him. 
           Gene was a prolific and gifted humor blogger. Rarely has such a fine writer captured the attention and affection of so many faithful readers, many cringing as they laughed. He was a first among ‘senior’ bloggers, giving a voice to his older compatriots. His views on politics, the environment, his running fashion commentary and his love of dung beetles were regular themes. He was infamous for his plans, schemes and inventions that were going to help him “make his pile” and he was a true aficionado, along with John Steinbeck, of abalone. He lived a colorful and rich life and brought that color and wealth to the lives of others through his blog, Old Horsetail Snake
His columns are archived here. I encourage you to read some of his earliest posts, written from the old folks home, where he shared many adventures with his blog character , Feelgood Haines. Quite remarkable. 
            Professionally, Gene was a reporter for the Associated Press, speechwriter for former Oregon Gov. Tom McCall, propagandist for former Congressman Les AuCoin, and Public Utility Commissioner of Oregon.
            From one of Gene’s many notes:
Every time I think I’m on my last legs I get into a recovery mode.  I think if I had felt as good then as I do now I wouldn’t have asked hospice to come in.  But now that they’re here, they can do me some good, plus getting a lot of my air medicines for free for me.  Good ol’ Medicare.
 
I don’t know why I was in such difficulty breathing in the hospital.  Went away in about two days after I was home.  So anyway, right after I was home I announced on my blog that I wouldn’t be doing much commenting on other people’s blogs — but I am, thanks to getting better.
 
You know the hospice drill:  You’re supposed to be within 6 months of popping off.  I don’t feel it’s that imminent, but one never knows.  Sylvia asked me this morning if I had any goals, and I said, “Yeah, I’d like to live to be 85.”  She said, “Why 85?”  And I said, “Because it’s such a nice odd number.”  Can’t be any other reason.
 
I am setting Scamp up to post my obit (which I have written) when I crash.  So you can copy it if you want.  Won’t matter to me (ho ho har de har har).
 
You will like the last line of my obit:  “Maudlin plans to be cremated and then will reincarnate.”  Really.  A person should be allowed to have fun with his last words.
 
Love you and your family.
 
Kinte Kunta
______________________________
          I hope he does come back- as an inventor or  a door-to-door salesmen making his pile, a politician, a lumberjack, a writer, a humorist, a bird watcher, a gigolo or even as the lowly dung beetle. I’m pretty sure I’ll recognize him. 
Rest easy, dear Hoss. You’ve been loved and will be remembered by so very many. My heartfelt condolences to Sylvia and Gene’s children,  brother, family and all of his wonderful friends in this virtual neighborhood of ours.
at-scooter
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52 responses to “The end of a wonderful correspondence

  1. What more can be said? I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m happy that you were able to be such a part of his life. Hugs to you.

  2. My condolances to you and his loved ones. He will be missed more than words can say.

  3. He was a remarkable man. He and I snarled at each other one memorable time in your comments section, when you had gone out of town and had posted a letter from a young ‘un. Do you remember that? But I always thought he was funny and I always thought it was remarkable, the way that the two of you bonded for real. I still remember what he wrote about Betty after she died. It made me tear up. And I felt pleased when I heard that he had found love again after her death.

    How sad when good friends leave us.

    All my love to you.

  4. There aren’t words for all the smiles, the laughter, and now the tears for Gene. He loved you I know that. And me, too, but most of all he loved Sylvia and what life gave him.

  5. I am so sorry to hear about Hoss… he was truly a fabulous, crusty old writer that never failed to make me laugh. We need more of that… the laughter… these days. He will be missed.

  6. I am overcome with grief, but joy in having known him. (and met him twice) He seemed indestructible to me though somehow; I can’t really believe he’s gone from this world and won’t have something to say on his blog, or mine. He got such joy out of Alison’s gymnastics that he was her surrogate grandpa; he especially reveled in her sticking her beam routines. Whenever I posted video of meets, I knew that at least one person would be watching them! I will miss him very much.

  7. Hoss began reading my bl*g way back when I had two readers, my mom and my best friend. At the time, I was startled how blunt he was and how *funny* he was in his comments. Every once in a while, he’d email me a funny or a thought about a post I’d written, and he was truly a wise ass, one of the finest I’ve ever known. He stood up for me when another blogger made a snide comment about my site, emailed me some excellent advice in dealing with it. I liked him instantly.

    Through our blogs I came to know a man who left an indelible impression, one that said we should stand our ground and speak our minds, and have a little fun along the way. Well, a lot of fun. He never let us take ourselves too seriously, did he?

    To Scamp and Vicky, and to those of you who knew him well, my heart goes out to you at this time. He was truly an amazing character of the finest kind, and he will be greatly missed.

  8. I’m so sorry for your loss, Vicki. I wish all states had the assisted suicide provision. Simply seems more humane than DNR orders.

  9. Oh my God…I had no idea. I feel awful! I wish I had said goodbye…

    He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed.

  10. What a beautiful tribute to a well-loved man. I never did read his blog, and only read his comments here, but I recall them being funny and sharp. A sincere farewell to a fellow blogger who has reached the end of his days. We should all go with such wit and wisdom.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss and grateful that he left you his friendship.

  12. I feel bereft. He was one of my earliest readers, and never failed to comment in a way that made me love him and laugh a lot. Our email stream was funny, warm and will be sorely missed. Just yesterday I left another comment on his blog, wondering how he was. Now I know. Rest easy, Dear Hoss. I will miss you terribly.

  13. Gone but not forgotten… RIP Gene

  14. Well, I’ve expected it, but it’s a shock nonetheless.
    I’ve checked Gene’s postings daily for a couple of years now and he has given me many laughs and much joy. I wish him the best as he continues his journey–that was one of his long-ago postings, “To Be Continued”.

  15. I am so so sad to read this. I will miss him very much as he was one of the first people to encourage me when I started my blog.

  16. Thanks for the column, and the first picture especially. I remember those early columns when he was in the old folks home and they always got me laughing, sometimes with tears in my eyes. I got to meet many if not most of my blogging buddies through Hoss too. I’ll miss him.

  17. Vicki,
    I will always treasure the memory of those Vegas days. There is a photo of Gene and I sitting on the couch in that Bellagio hotel room, hanging on my wall. I’m so glad you two made the trip.

    I’m too sad to write more. Thanks for posting this.

    Mandy

  18. Hoss had a way of making you feel as though you were the only person on Earth that he thought was funny, even though you knew you weren’t. I am at a loss this morning and can’t concentrate after hearing of this, and I am supposed to be working. Hoss would have it no other way.

    Vegas with Hoss…you are one lucky gal.

    If you could please email me, I have his address but not sure if that is where to send something to Scamp? Thank you in advance.

  19. This has made me very sad. But I believe that he is breathing just fine now and getting a huge kick out of all the comments and tributes he is getting in the blog world! I will be thinking of him every time I capture a photo of a small bird–he liked the little ones.

  20. I kept hoping he’d pull out of this, just as he always had in the past. My eyes are leaking…

    I admired his style (and sometimes his ability to throwing caution to the wind).

    I’d click on the link to his blog, anticipating the quick wit and humor. His words made me laugh out loud and more often than not, I shared them with friends and family members.
    And now you say he’s written his own obit? I’m waiting for that another good read–written in Old Hoss style….

    I’m like an addict waiting for one last fix.

  21. Oh gosh, I’m sorry for your loss. Such a unique friendship the two of you shared.

  22. You were a first-rate friend to Gene, Vicki! Thanks for this beautiful post!

    Please take care of our Hoss, Big Ernie!

  23. Yes, thanks for this wonderful post about Gene. I read his blog often and felt like I knew him. He will be missed. He was one of a kind.

  24. Hoss was one of my first readers. I loved him so thoroughly and so deeply, there are no words to describe it. He was so kind, and so funny, and so, well, Hoss-ish. All of Heaven must surely be echoing with laughter, as I would be very surprised indeed if he arrived without some dung beetles in his pockets with which to startle the angels. You’ve written a beautiful tribute, Vicki dear. I know what you meant to him, and he to you.

  25. Pingback:   Things I Haven’t Done Yet — Scheiss Weekly

  26. Thank you for this; I’m blubbering like a little kid and I have been for a good ten minutes. Life online will never be the same…I’m just so very grateful I had even that little slice of him through his blog, and very, very happy that you got to meet him and to really him. While right now I feel like my gut has been sucker punched, I suspect you feel like someone plunged something hot and wet into your chest, and that you took the time and were able to post such a wonderful tribute to Gene means a lot.

  27. I’m so sorry. Thank you for sharing your memories of him.

  28. I couldn’t make it through all the words and memories on the first four reads. 😦 Man, I miss him already. He was aces indeed. Thanks for sharing your memories and correspondences and for being such a good friend to him.

  29. Heartfelt sympathy to you and all who loved Hoss – there won’t be another like him and like many others bloggers I shall miss his friendship, his wit and his Hossiness.
    Rest in Peace darling Hoss.

  30. Oh, I blubbered as well. This was so beautiful and such a wonderful tribute to a much beloved man.

  31. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man. For a moment, I was with you Vegas. I’m wishing wellness to you, to Sylvia, and to the dear departed. I’m imagining St Peter falling about laughing, ushering a man through to meet Big Ernie.

  32. who’s gonna say “Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit” on the 1st of every month?

  33. Oops, hit send too quick. I am crying here out of selfishness. I will miss old Gene! His humor posts, his “Yup I’m dying Oh Well” and staying centered, and the fact that he was one of a few bloggers older than me whom I could identify with easily. He just didn’t feel that old to me.
    I hope you’re having a great time and breathing huge gulps of pristine atmosphere – wherever you are.

  34. Though I don’t blog anymore, he was a life saver when I shattered my leg and was housebound in 2005. He always read my blog and left some kind of funny, uplifting comment. He will be missed by me.

  35. One of the best obituaries/send offs I’ve ever read.

    Thank you for sharing with us some of your memories of a man who never ceased to entertain me. It was through Hoss that I discovered your blog. Win/win.

  36. Just finding out today about Gene. What a great friend he was! He was always so kind to stop by my blog and leave a comment. I’m very sad to hear that he passed away. Hoss was a true gentleman. I’m really going to miss Gene and thank him for his friendship and presence. To Sylvia and Gene’s family, my condolences.

  37. I really only knew Hoss through his comments on Thumper’s blog. I appreciated your tribute to him and wanted you to know that you have my sincerest condolences on the loss of your friend.

  38. If I am ever lucky enough that you come to Raleigh, I will take you to that store for lunch – my treat!!

  39. I am so very saddened by this news. Ol’ Hoss was one of my very first blog friends and I loved him very much. I think of him often, and will miss him much.

    Love you Hoss!

  40. What sad news to learn. He brought me so many smiles and I’ve stolen so many of his jokes. I am so sorry for your loss.

  41. I just heard about Hoss, today, from Kenju….I am so very very sorry for your loss and all of us out here in Blog Land….Gene was an “orginal” in every way….and what a WONDERFUL sense of humor. He will be missed…And is already terribly terribly missed. My deepest condolances to all of his family…RIP, dear Gene.

  42. Met Hoss about three years ago thru the blogsphere and fell in love instantly with this *sweetheart* of a man.

    Prayer vibes ensuing for Gene’s family and friends. He will be sorely missed.

  43. I had the pleasure of meeting Gene. I was his first, so to speak. I broke him in good and we had a wonderful visit. He sure liked his coronas.

    http://oldhorsetailsnake.blogspot.com/2005/07/is-this-pathway-to-riches.html

    My heart is very sad. Thanks for this wonderful post and tribute to Old Horsetail Snake AKA Senior Dung Beetle

  44. Vickie,

    I can’t think of way to express how saddened I am that won’t seem redundant in the wake of the comments before mine.

    Yet, the numbers (of commentors and blog friends) speak for themselves. So I won’t try to come up with some original lament, but share in their sadness – and yours.

    Hoss, was one the first to comment on my blog, we both started in January of 2005, and were regulars at each other’s site. We “shared” cartoons and jokes (okay – stole them from each other) during those four years.

    He will occupy the top spot on my side bar for a long time to come. His quietus reminds me of the frailty of the human body and the indestructible resonance of the human soul.

    He and his savoir faire aura will be missed.

    R.I.P. Hoss

  45. Thanks for posting this. I am surprised, though I probably shouldn’t be, and sad, though I also probably shouldn’t be. I bet Hoss and Big Ernie are having a lot of fun right now.

  46. Thank you so much for posting this wonderful obit about a wonderful man.

  47. Pingback: The Passing Away of Blogger of Humor «

  48. Wonderful final words. thanks for posting. Hoss will truly be missed. What a great guy, a blogger’s friend.

  49. Tisha let me know in time to give him a call with a farewell “love you buddy”. There will never be another like Hossie. Keep the faith ^j^

  50. I’m so sad to hear that Gene is gone – I discovered his blog several months ago and always enjoyed his wit and insight. Glad to know he’s in a better place!

    Oh, Rabbit Rabbit!! (a few days late, but better than never!)

  51. Do you have any suggestions?

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