Friday, May 02, 2008

O Mio Babbino Caro

I had the thrill of going to a wake/viewing/whatever yesterday down in scenic Jamestown, OH.

Let's put it this way, Jamestown, makes Xenia seem like a metropolis.....even after a tornado. But who in their right mind would have thought you'd ever see this in the "center" of town (click to enlarge if need be)

Maybe the bench is really old and none of the residents responded to its request. I was just sitting at a stop light and had had had to take the picture. It just struck me as odd and funny.

Not as odd and funny as say.......the wake/viewing/whatever.

I know I've have mentioned my disdain for funerals and the like and this was no different. It wasn't even anyone I knew. But the husband of one of my staff members who died unexpectedly at 42.

I felt the need to make an appearance, even though it was a four hour drive each way.

I've said before, I'd be happy if 22 folks showed up to my funeral. I got there 15 minutes into the start time of the wake and I was what I would estimate to be 300-400th in line!!!! When I left, there were at least that many still waiting to go through the receiving line - which is a concept I really do not get at all.

I didn't know the parents or the siblings. I didn't know the deceased. I did not want to talk to any of them. I just wanted to see my staff member, give my condolences and head home.

After, and I'm not kidding, waiting for 1.5 hrs, I finally line-jumped. Hey, I was still 45 minutes away from the open casket!! But I saw other staff members of mine doing the same thing, and I figured, I only wanted to talk to one person, so I followed suit.

What do you say when the person left behind starts off saying, "I'm widowed at what???" Eeeek. Note: there is no comeback. None.

But I should back up anyway. The obituary said, wear Ohio State game attire, as the guy was a big Buckeye fan. Well, I'm old school funeral - I wore a suit. I may have been the only one to do so. Even the dead guy was in a Tiki shirt. I'm not quite sure why everyone else was wearing a Buckeye jersey and he wasn't.

But these guys weren't just wearing OSU gear. Nope. They wore game day everything. Ripped jeans - in all the inappropriate places, unless you were planning on visiting the backroom at the Chicago Eagle (umm....I've heard). This was gear that looks like you had been tailgating for about 8 hours before the game. It wasn't pretty.

The other thing was the photo collages of the guy. The ubiquitous pics of his birthdays and wedding were there. But more often than not, it was him with some animal he had killed. Deer. Moose. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Kittens. Fish. Ok - maybe not all of those, but most of those. All in various states of the hunt and/or death - but almost all of them with a firearm in the shot (pun intended).

My staff was thrilled I made the effort to get down there for this. Hey, if I can win points with that crew, which ain't that easy, it was worth the 15 hour work day.

Song: from Gianni Scicchi by Puccini

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