Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Hillbilly Friend Is a Friend Forever

My best friend, The Hillbilly, is here to talk about friendship:

Looking back over my life, I began thinking about the many good friends I have and some that are no longer with us.  In doing so, I caught myself smiling, because I connect them with particular events.  Some of these events have to do with us being helpful to one another, the others have to do with humorous events.

As for helpful, when I went through really bad times, emotional and financial, I had to come up with some money and get rid of items that I really didn’t want to part with.  So I got estimates on some of these items and then went to some of my friends. 

 One of them was a fishing buddy of mine.  I showed him an estimate I had of my boats, which was around $3000.  Then I asked If he would give me the $3000 for them and then hold them for me to repurchase.   I told him that I would begin buying them back soon as I could.  He said yes.  We then made up a bill of sale and he gave me the $3000.  Actually, he would probably have just loaned it to me without the rigamarole, but I didn’t feel good about that.  

I called another hunting and fishing buddy of mine and read the estimate I had on my guns  and then asked if he would also purchase them and let me buy them back.  He said yes, but then asked if he actually had to take possession of them.  He said that he didn’t really have the room for them.   So I also made up a bill of sale and he gave me the money.   I then went to my boss and did the same thing with my car.  He bought it, insured it, and I continued to use it as I repaid him.  That was years ago,  but it meant a lot, and I still am thankful for the help they gave me.  And, as I said, I smile when I think of such things that were said, such as here is the money ----- but do I actually have to take the guns?

As for humor, one friend of mine (for 42 years now) has been involved with a lot of different things with me.  He has fished with me, gigged for fish with me, cave crawled with me, sang in a quartets with me, sang at funerals with me, been involved with a lot of church activities with me, and we were involved with each other’s weddings.  After our marriages, both of our families went to fairs, Six Flags, Worlds of Fun, etc.  With that much togetherness, there is always some humor.  

By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
With the fishing, it seemed like a lot of funny situations had to do with snakes.  I suspect that he was a snake magnet.  Two different times, while float fishing, we wound up with snakes in the boat.  On one float trip, with him and another great friend, he and I decided to try to get to a good looking fishing spot where the water had been too swift to allow us to get to it by boat.  To do this, we had to wade part way across the river to a tree that was lying across deep water, with the idea of using it like a bridge.  

I had seen a couple of snakes drop off of it but didn’t say anything to him because I figured it would spook him.  We climbed over the tree and I looked down and there was another large water moccasin lying on another tree right below the one we crossed.   We had just started down the bank when he got his fishing plug caught in his coat and wanted me to help get it out.  While I was working on it, I saw another water moccasin crawl under a log right by my foot.  I told him about that and lifted the log to get a better look at it.  It was lying beside a second one.  I then told him about that being about the sixth snake I had seen in the short distance we had walked and told him that it appeared that we were into a nest of them.   I suggested that it might not be wise to try to go any further.  He agreed.  So we went back to the tree.  I told him that since we were there, I wanted to climb out on the tree and take a few casts before we left.  Then, as I was walking out on it, another snake, (the 7th), slid off.  

That's My Hillbilly!
By this time, my buddy was about ready to freak, so as we began getting off the tree to cross the river, he got in the water first.  Then he told me to hurry up and also get into the water. "If the snakes come, I want them to have a choice."  At that point I was laughing so hard that the snakes would have probably thought I was crazy and went after him anyway.  

There are a lot of other occasions that I catch myself smiling about, but another one I find particularly funny was when he and I were on a ride at the fair.  It was always one of my favorites.  It looked kind of like a train but it would go upside down in a circle.  It would start rocking back and forth, then eventually hang you upside down.  It would then go around in circles one direction a few times, then again hang you upside down, then reverse and go around in circles the other direction, again hanging you upside down.  This particular time, as we hung upside down for the first time, and I was laughing and having a great time, he suddenly says, “I hate this ride”.  I then said, “What do you mean you hate this ride?  We have been riding it together for years.”  He then said, “Yes, and I have hated it the whole time."  By this time, I was laughing so hysterically that I was in tears.   

By basic_sounds (originally posted to Flickr as cne) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Later, he went on to tell me that he had been semi-claustrophobic and also hated the cave crawling.  He said that the only reason he went with us was that he had just wanted to hang around with my other buddy and me. 

Yes, he was and is a good friend.  Yes, I do still laugh at him.  And yes, he probably could tell you some funny things about me or tell you how easily I could get you into trouble or into unplanned adventures.  But what I say is true and what he would say is -------- also true!  Oh well, what do you expect from a half hyper, Missouri, Ozarkian, redneck hillbilly!

Well, what would you do if your best friend was about to be eaten by snakes?