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It is well…

By Mike Hall, February 1, 2022

A cowboy prayed that on that very last day…vivid memories would stream through his mind like the water flowing under Bridge Crossing high in The Colorado Rockies.

For just an instant he’d feel that heavy tug of the gorgeous 21 inch rainbow that ambushed the olive Woolly Bugger before dawn…

He’d hold once more his beautiful wife while dancing at their wedding so long ago…

In amazement, he would see brothers Craig and Chris beckoning him to hurry to join Emil and Bill on the first tee at Paradise Hills Country Club…’we’ve got clubs for
you’ they’d holler…

With joy, the old gentleman would revel once again in the joy of finally
bringing Carly home and celebrating with joyous friends and neighbors…

The aging fella shudders as the scene at Church Ranch unfolds…10:00 p.m.
and pitch dark…a young cowboy and two friends illegally poaching on
one of the best trout ponds in the state. A siren sounds and flashing
lights getting closer each second…the petrified cowboy hops into the lake
to avoid capture only to discover later that it was Mark Frye and his fake
siren that scared us to death…

With satisfaction, the former pitcher would smile after giving up a late
inning grand slam in The Junior College World Series but hanging in there
to lead his mates to The JUCO final…

A frown appears as the old guy sees himself at three years of age…a kind
postman is carrying him door to door after the kid fell from his wagon and
hit his head on the cement curb. Cement curbs don’t give at all…

The gym was packed and extremely vocal in the last minute of the rivalry game between Rockhurst and Bishop Miege. The score was tied with six seconds remaining when a slender, blue eyed guard from Miege grabbed a long rebound and raced downcourt. With two seconds left, he stopped and launched a 22 ft. jump shot that sealed the deal. One side of the gym erupted and the other sounded like a huge vacuum cleaner sucked the air from the players and fans.

A look of complete contentment comes as he sees the infant Carly falling asleep on his chest…ICBW, it could be worse but surely never better than that.

The finally retired tennis coach still proclaiming, on this, his very last day,
that he should have paid his students for all the joy they brought to his life…

He, in those last moments, gave a subtle wink to lifelong friend Tom Finholm
in remembrance of one of the best damn catches ever and the upset win over
favored Jack Boring’s at Segner field…

He would smile replaying the 8th. grade rebound he mistakenly put back
into the opponent’s basket…oh well.

The fella grimaced when recalling the head on collision and subsequent concussion when he and Frank ‘the tank’ Thompson collided chasing a pop fly. The root canals with Dr. Gander qualifies as nasty as rotator cuff surgery.

A clenched fist when viewing the final out of a shutout victory in semi pro ball vs. The Liberal Blue Jays…one of the best teams in the country. It was the first time in 84 games that they had been held scoreless. A week later, another shutout vs. The  Sky Sox of Colorado Springs where 22 batters struck out…a record that has undoubtedly stood for fifty years.

A little nod of the head at the image of him and Paul Rossi floating the Green River with guide Dalton. There were big, eager brown trout gulping in split case PMD’s and ospreys perched above in the amazing canyon.  The guide was more than embarrassed to discover he didn’t bring a net on the second day.

A grin from the old cager as he relives going frog hunting with Carly on
a bicycle built for two…

The oldster would see he and Sally savoring twice a day Yami yogurt in Whaler’s Village on Maui realizing together how sweet life could be…

With one final tear, the cowboy would relive hearing the news that four year old brother Craig was now an angel in heaven…

In a flash, he would see Bob Summerall’s green Jeep careening wildly
down the steep hill near Franktown…hear the eerie silence when coming
to rest upside down, and vowing to go to confession on Saturday…

He looks scared as the picture of him coming through the front door in
third grade flashes by…his mom, minus her dentures looked like Moms Mabley…

There, as clear as a bell, the man hears ‘Marco…Polo’ as Carly and dad frolic
in the pool at Gleaneagles in Florida…

A grimace when a fishing trip was undone when an iPAD fell from the top of the car to the pavement on County Line road.

A look of appreciation as the final film shows the old angler looking up to
see a bald eagle flying above at Deckers. The bird is clutching a twelve inch
brown trout in its talons. Cowboy was sure he heard the fish scream…’O Shit!’…

The old coach smiles at the picture of Lynn Desens and her granddaughters
on the teaching court…three generations of players from the same family
is pretty cool…

There, in his final moments, was the image of sixty pink balloons soaring
high over Lone Tree in honor of the warrior Bonnie Suter…

The face of his faraway friend Cheryl Spicer cringing when meeting for
the first time and viewing a Colorado cowboy wearing tobacco stained
Big Bubba teeth…

His eyes see a yellow softball rocketing 30 feet beyond the fence in
Steamboat Springs as Carly jogged around the bases…

A pained expression surfaces as the image of dance lessons in the eighth grade reminds him of the words spoken after the final lesson…’I’d rather have a root canal with no anesthesia.’

The ex hoopster sees himself in the upper deck at Municipal Auditorium
in Kansas City as Rockhurst College Star, Dick Hennier, launches a last
second shot from 35 feet over two defenders to beat Indiana Central…perhaps
I’ll get to thank Mr. Hennier upstairs for this amazing memory…

The lucky one sees himself crashing to the icy pavement hitting his
head as if Mike Tyson had just delivered a bombshell left hook…
lucky to survive that one…

Just then, he sees himself being saved by hero Doug Mufca after choking
on a large bite of a banana…lucky indeed…

The long retired golfer sees vividly the moments of angst that drove
him to other pursuits and smiles at perhaps his best line ever…’I left
the game of golf after deciding I’d rather die of natural causes.’…

Relatives see the slowing of his breathing and are astounded when the
fella begins to quietly sing…’When peace like a river, attendeth my way
…When sorrows like sea billows roll…Whatever my lot, Thou has taught
me to sing…It is well, it is well, with my soul.’

What a gift to live this life!

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4 Comments

  1. Betty White says:

    Indeed! What a beautiful reflection !

  2. Tom Finholm says:

    WHAT GREAT MEMORIES AND WHAT A MEMORY YOU HAVE!

  3. Steve Widmann says:

    Lots more fun ahead!

  4. Cheryl spicer says:

    Oh my goodness tears running like a flood down my cheeks ! I cried I laughed and I cringed 🤔🤣beyond words .. love you my faraway friend xxx

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