Monday, March 09, 2009

A Tip of the Hat to Hoss

Tip of the Hat to Hoss

Gene Maudlin
“Hoss”—Old Horsetail Snake

1930 – 2009

Hoss has died. I suspected that because he’s been ill for several months and has not blogged since early February. Judy sent me an e-mail note. Others have posted affectionate blogs.

Hoss was the second person I blogrolled when I began blogging five years ago. I took a liking to him right away because he is an old newspaperman—“old,” as in “from the old school” when cut and paste meant an Exacto knife and rubber cement. Hoss witnessed enough in his journalism career to know that life is fragile and that moments are measured in history books, not in ballot boxes, in football bowls or in box offices. So he enjoyed life’s hijinks; but was solemn and respectful in those times that bring us tears.

When I first started reading his b**gs, he lived in an old folks home. His sidekick was Feelgood Haines. The two of them...well, Hoss and Haines could have been a circus act. Hoss was a rascal. He used naughty words, posted corny cartoons, told tall tales and off-color jokes, and even supported candidates in the Democratic Orgy Party. He flirted with the girls and poked fun at the boys. He practiced irreverence but was appreciative of those who offered him spiritual input. Hoss and I didn’t see eye-to-eye on several things (we traded barbs on more than one occasion) but he always respected me and my blog. It was plain to see, most of all, that he loved people. People always got the benefit of the doubt from him. And the colorful little critters that hung out around his bird feeder always twinkled his eyes—and his camera. Hoss was a rascal, but he was a kind man, braced with integrity.

He surely loved his wife and chronicled her failing health right in front of us. When she passed away there wasn’t a dry eye in the blogosphere. Soon after, he took a run around the country just to say “Hi” to some of his fans—and he had plenty of them. When he got back home, he introduced us to “Scamp,” an angelic woman who stayed by his side those last couple of years.

I always got excited when I found one of his comments in my Cuss-Free Zone. Even though it was usually something goofy, it was from Hoss, who took a moment out of his busy day, read my stuff and tipped his hat to me.

Farewell, friend, and a tip of my hat to you.

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