|Bob "Bob T" Taylor|
|June 19, 2001 at 11:42:49:
Car was packed, ready to roll. My wife (Kim) had been looking for her swimsuit. We found it in the garage with a broken tube of epoxy glue stuck to it. Nobody knew nothin'. This called for a "quick" trip down town for a new swimsuit. Anybody that knows Kim knows why "quick" was in quotes. Finally got underway. On the first major grade the car (12 years old, 230,000 miles) started getting a little hot. By the time we got to the major grade on Hwy 41 headed into Kettleman City, it got real hot then quit. The first thing to get loaded into my car prior to leaving my zip code is the tool chest. Took me 2 hours to get it going again, then had to make a decision. We were at the half way point. Keep going or turn back? Kim told me "You have been looking foreword to this for a year. If you quit now, you will hate yourself the rest of your life." Good call.
We got to the Ranch after dark. Gary (who looked like he had been through the ringer) hauled us around on the Mule to pick a campsite. Thanks, Cowboy. The kids set up the tent while I unloaded the car. The Ranch has about six ground squirrel holes per square yard. While I went up to visit, the big kid (Robert) decided to try out his sleeping bag. The first one in the tent gets the littlest rocks. While he was getting all comfy, a ground squirrel decided to exit the burrow under the tent. Robert, thinking "rattlesnake" let out a yell and started banging the tent floor with his six cell Maglight. That calmed the squirrel, but irritated his Mom, who doesn't hold with bashing God's furry little creatures. Rob spent the rest of his sleeping time in the car. He don't cotton much to wildlife. About 2 a.m. I heard him yell again. I stepped out to see what the fuss was about. While sleeping in the car, he heard a bump, and though somebody had walked into the car. He shined his flashlight (Yup, the squirrel basher) out the windshield and saw a bobcat looking in at him. Like I said, he don't cotton much to wildlife.
Saturday was all eat, swim, talk. My only regret about the whole weekend is that I didn't get to talk with lots of people who I have known only as screen names. I was having some health problems, and had to take breaks frequently. Really glad I brought my qual book.
Sunday morning, "Tolling of the Boats." I moved to the back of the crowd, as I tend to get emotional on some topics. I didn't know I was not alone in this. I also didn't know Leonard and his pipes were on the hill behind me. The first time I heard "Amazing Grace" on the Pipes was at my Grandfather's funeral. I was about nine. He had served in the Coldstream Guards during World War I. Some men from the Guards Association attended his funeral and brought their pipes.
I asked one of these men why they had come so far to attend the funeral of a man they had never met. He told me "There is more to a Guards Regiment than a fancy hat." I think they would have understood the Bash.
Thank you, Cowboy, Sue and Zeke.