When we were little we often heard the adults refer to Uncle Ron as the “Wheeler Dealer.” He never met a horse, a trailer, a tractor, a camper, or frankly anything with wheels that he didn’t like. The milk house was full of horse show ribbons. There was a horse, among many, who was his pride and joy. His name was Vandy, an appaloosa, that brought home the blue many times.
Uncle Ron had a soft distinctive voice and a warm chuckle. He rarely outwardly laughed, but his giggle was unmistakable, and contagious. And until the last time I saw him, the sparkle in his eye was always there.
He drove me to the lake on the Mule a couple summers ago, and I guessed it would probably be the last time. I burned into my brain the sounds of the setting and the look on his face as he scanned the water for fish. A fun pastime for both he and his brother, Vern. One of the best pictures is Ron and Vern posing in their fishing attire for John Eaton at the newspaper, spring of 2010. Oh they didn’t want to do it. They hemmed and hawed and I made them, and now we are all glad to have this picture. But more importantly, the story of the brothers not missing an opening day of fishing season in New York state, for sixty-one straight years. A record to be sure. One of the last times I heard Uncle Ron’s giggle was talking to him about his friend, Jim, falling in as they all did, and his waiters filling up with ice cold Catherine Creek water. He enjoyed that chat, and I think and speak of it often.
The photo speaks to us of best friends, close all their lives. Brothers, sixteen months apart, shooting rats at the dump, fishing and hunting, and doing all the cool things men do.
We learned about the silver hour, Uncle Ron called it. That time of day at dusk when the lake has a silver shimmer and the index of refraction on the water is such that the fish cannot see what is coming in or landing, so they don’t bite. “Gotta fish right after the silver hour.” One of many pearls we learned from Uncle Ron. It is his silver hour now, and he will be sorely missed each and every time we see the shimmer on the lake. Here’s to that big horse show in the sky. He is now doing what he loved to do. Bringing home the blue.
Ronald J Moss 8/2/35–5/22/20
#rip #mansman #bestuncle #horseman #rancher #showhorses #fisherman #beloved