A latter inconvenience involved me running around the pillar trying to find Jeff, while Jeff was running in the same direction trying to find me.
When I met Jeff, he was a few weeks into a new occupation and a new full-time job. His previous jobs had all been dairy farm related. Until the accident. Nannee was listening to the police scanner, although I’m not sure why she owned one or how that came about, when she heard chatter about a farming accident.
Jeff lost his footing on a silo. He fell from the top , hitting nearly every rung on the way down. He broke both is legs, opened himself up from belly to sternum and was conscious enough to ask the paramedics not to damage his new Christmas boots or jeans that he was wearing for the first time. Of course, that wasn’t possible for the jeans. They had to cut him out of them.
I don’t have all the details, but I know his mom took on care of him, and I know his immediate and large family supported him, too. I’m not sure if he thanked them profusely. He probably did, knowing Jeff, but I have profuse thanks to offer, as well.
Jeff lived for his family. He was proud of every member. He loved every single one.
Mom, Nannee, Eric, Nicole, multiple steps (10 in all), cousins, aunts, uncles, the friends he held as dear as his family, his father, his step-father and step-mother, even the ones who thought they did not deserve his love or loyalty. Even through hard times, bad times, his love was strong.
Like I said, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there for a lot of things, but the way Jeff told stories, I might as well have been.
I heard about him having his Mustang for sale, and how it was uninsured when a lady skidded up the driveway and plowed into it. I heard about the many pig roasts and the roaster borrowed from a “sort of gang” that never got returned.
I heard about the racetrack and rituals, and enjoyed Jeff’s pride in the converted school bus used. I learned he loved tiger print! Leopard print was a close second. I heard about the bus being used for a cousin’s wedding and how much he had loved that. I heard about how he was once over-drunk and feisty at the race track over something that resulted in him being stuffed into a race tire.
I heard about his buddies – good sized guys who piled into an egg-shaped, clown-car Fiesta and head down to Ohio for fun. I heard how he attended so many of his cousin’s games, that folks thought he was her father. I heard about the time he shaved his beard without telling anyone, and walked through the woods into the middle of a baseball game. I heard how everyone fell-out because Jeff without a beard. I never saw Jeff without his beard, except for the portraits that hung at Nannee’s and some childhood photos.
I heard a lot about Poppa, and Tecumseh parades, fixing sheds, rolling gardens, and how Nannee drove through the garage. Not the garage door… the garage. I heard about the sheep having a long tail. (I think it was a sheep, correct me if I’m wrong.) I heard about family fiascos, his mom not being able to find a restroom and having to purchase new pants. I heard how when a child, he was found outside in a wheel-barrow, having sleep walked there. I heard about discovering all of his underwear had been taken on tour, sans Jeff and sans one, I believe.
I heard about the beloved Bronco 2, FHA conventions, trading card shows, and what Jeff’s dad used to feed the kids on “his weekend.” I learned that he wasn’t always close to his father, and was privileged to watch that relationship grow strong.
I heard about Whitey the dog and was driven by the house where the fire explosion was. I heard about Boomer’s and Brownie’s and was taken to both with pride. I heard about going to court to fight a ticket because a horse trailer skidded on the same spot.
I heard about and saw his grade-school class’s cook book. I only had three visits with Grandma Korte before she passed, but heard many stories and much praise for her cookies. I heard that when Grandma K slapped me on the back hard enough to make me stumble on the way out of her house after our first meeting, that it was her way of saying she liked me.
I heard about family traditions, some of which faded out, and some I was brought into.
And I always heard affection – no matter who was talking to Jeff or who Jeff was talking to.
Quote for the Week:
Enjoy this Week’s Discovery Links:
Blink of an Eye: http://modernfarmer.com/2014/06/farm-deaths/
Do This: Google “Farming Magazines”
Hometown Pride: http://ediblewow.com/files/pages/articles/fall08/farmToPlate.pdf