More about the death of an affectionate man

by Jamie Lutton

I have not written very much lately; have been distracted and saddened by my business partner's sorrow about the death of his father. I liked John Sr, very much. He and I agreed on very little, but we liked to rhubarb, as he enjoyed starting  arguments even more than I do.  I don't know what impression you got about him from John Jr. blog's about him, but I thought he was a riot.

They don't make them like him anymore. Most now in conversation are soft, and avoid conflict in discussion, like it was a disease or something. John Sr. started them up, joyfully, for the heck of it, all the time.

I went to his funeral yesterday, and saw what was left of him put in a box in the ground, and realized I did not make enough time for him. I had been going back to Eastern Washington to visit my Mom and  Dad, and after that, mourning them, when I had invites out to the Watkins house.  I bitterly regret not going out to visit this grand old man more often.

His wife and the rest of the family are very friendly to me, of course, but I always felt this man understood me, and liked me, for what many see as my faults. My acerbic temperament, my liking to argue, my maverick and (to some) inconsistent politics; he liked me the way I was.

I had plans to get to know him better. He reminded me of two of my brothers for his itch to argue, and my mother, interestingly enough.  My mother lived to argue.. (My first memories of my mother, politically, was her yelling at Nixon on TV about 1966.)

I had told John Jr. that I was going to come out to visit regularily, and I had plans to draw his old man out, and enjoy the back and forth. Even though John Sr. was conservative, the itch to talk about politics overrides the actual side one is on. And besides, I am not a doctrinaire liberal.