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Date:8/28/2014 10:21:06 PM
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Wild Bill, Part II
In my last blog, I introduced Wild Bill Beaudin, friend of the family, or rather, Friend of the Family. It's that important, as countrymen and women would understand. A Friend of the Family, as I said, is part of the household. As my cousins like to say, "You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family."

Bill helped Pa build a house for eldest brother David and his bride Susie. He was a good "rough" carpenter. Tonight's photo shows Bill clowning around while building the kitchen cabinets. He was great fun to work with. He loved an attentive audience (which I, at age 14, was) and never found fault, which was something Pa never mastered. Besides building that house, he also loved to spend the evening (much to the costernation of my mother) drinking coffee, watching TV, and swapping stories with Pa. My happiest teen-age memories was sitting in the kitchen with those two on an Autumn Friday night, listening to their talk and then joining them when they would go out into the backyard and shine the flashlight out into the garden. Like as not there would two or three sets of deer eyes glowing back at them. One time Bill couldn't resist. He got his bow out of his jeep and tried 45 degree shot from next to the house to about 60 yards out to where one deer was standing, with Pa shining the big flashlight the whole while. He missed of course, but it was fun to hear the thunk of the arrow out in dark see the dip and lunge of the deer eyes as they bolted. When we walked down to the garden we found that the arrow hit in line with the deer, only four or five feet short.

The earlier photo of Bill's shack, ably taken by Punky last spring, is lined up with an ancient apple tree in our orchard. Almost 40 years ago, Pa and Bill nailed a small platform on that same limb and set up for the evening waiting for deer. As Bill sat crossed-legged on that "stand" he didn't take into account that any deer that would cross over the hill above him could look down and spot him. A snort, a stamp, and some hoofbeats was all they got for their efforts but it was a good try. I left those withered boards on that tree for years and years until David unwittingly removed them a year or so ago. He hadn't known the importance of them to me so I can't blame him. Besides, David has a wealth of stories of Wild Bill and has given me several stories that will appear later. As for that hill and that tree, to this day the deer still travel over that hill on the same trail and feed under that same tree. Next time, Wild Bill and firearms. -- Gary
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