I will tell him he's missed. He is staying busy with other projects, and hasn't "figgered out" the new system, though he hasn't tried very hard. Last Sunday, he hosted an Easter sunrise service on a hilltop overlooking his ranch buildings. It was well attended with about thirty taking part. Mrs. Soapweed did the honors of presenting the message, though Saddletramp and others have done an admirable job of doing it in the past. Cinnamon rolls, donuts, and other delectable goodies were served in his house later. This has been a tradition on the hill at Dad's ranch for quite a few years, and it follows in the footsteps of Sunrise Service on a hill south of town, going back about as far as I can remember. This took place on my uncle's ranch. He died from cancer in 1999.
My great grandparents helped to start the local Methodist church back about a hundred and five years ago. On one of the early church remodeling projects, extra money was needed. My great grandmother came up with the idea that they needed "a mile of pennies". Sixteen pennies laid end to end make a foot. 5,280 feet in a mile multiplied by sixteen equals 84,480 pennies. Evidently $844.80 was needed for materials to build with, and of course all the labor was done by the people of the congregation.
Times have changed. Unfortunately in our fading little town, there are not enough folks around to keep the church a viable entity. It closed a couple years ago, and another minister from a nearby town has turned the building into a "retreat center". There are about fourteen bunks and a kitchen area. It is available for retreats, family reunions or other worthy causes.
Please tell your father he is missed by most of us on this board. I love his column, FRIENDS AND FANCIES, and thoroughly enjoy reading them. He has seen a lot of history, but unlike many people, he is able to write about those days in a way that make them come alive again for us younger folks.
I also enjoy his son's hometown tales....