friends and neighbors pass it's natural to reflect on their lives
and think of all the good times, the silly moments you shared with
them. It's harder to do when the 'good times' were few and far between
toward the end and there was a darkness lurking that no one could
Could it be that life is one long slipstream of dreams where we
dart in and out like minnows? Feeding in the shallows when the sun
lures our prey to the surface; going deep while the storms blow
by? Sadness has always caused a stretch in reality for some of us.
It makes that bitter pill go down a little easier when it's time
to take our medicine. When things go dark all around us it's possible
to lose our way and in my humble opinion it happens all the time.
Often we're so busy in our own little circles of activity that we
don't notice the lights going dim in another. Some of the best of
us have chosen to depart by the road less traveled, so hard to understand
for those of us who live in safely defined painted-on worlds in
our tidy systems of belief.
The world is being torn asunder by madness, everyone appears to
be at odds with someone, somewhere but surely our only hope is to
live in the grace of forgiveness and offer understanding wherever
we can. It seems to me that none of us really 'know' much of anything
on our own but when we get together and heave the stones out of
our path we move along much better.
Recently a dear friend took an abrupt turn from his particular path.
He carried volumes of local history with him and broke countless
hearts in the bargain. It just doesn't make sense to us now, and
may never, but it was a decision that can be made only once. Until
we experience the pain he suffered it just doesn't do to speculate.
He was a fifth generation direct descendant of the pioneers who
Texas. Gregory and his father, Jimmy, owned and operated the
Ingenhuett General Store and Fancy Grocery, which was in constant
operation, from the 1860's until May of 2006 when it succumbed to
a devastating fire (See 'Hot
Time in the Old Town). He was an honest to goodness Freethinker
and believed we should honor the freedoms hard won by his (and our)
ancestors and he held his ground on that score against some pretty
tiresome and petty pressure. With his substantial and well-rounded
education he loved history above all things. Everyone kept him plenty
busy answering endless questions about anything & everything to
do with the community, in particular, and Texas
History in general, for that matter. He was a cheerful source
of information and could rattle off dates, times and names like
no other. It's hard to believe he has gone.
We will remember him fondly and think often of his gentle presence
when the Law West of the Guadalupe domino game is rocking along
or when the sunset is particularly beautiful. He can't have known
how many friends he had but he wasn't one who 'collected' people,
his kindness drew us to him like moths to a flame.
Goodbye Gregory and rest well, you have marked the end of an era.
Copyright Gael Montana
'The View from Under the Bus'
17 , 2007 Column