August 7, 2011

Eulogy for Robert Bates

(L-R) Auntie Honey, Myself, Uncle Bob - July 15th, 2011 Grand Forks, B.C. 
An expected, but unwanted late-night phone call and the distance I feel from my home town is only traversed by certain memories:

Five years old and I'm standing in front of the doorway to Uncle Bob's wood shop. The combination lock hangs on its latch, and the door is open about three inches. Inside, I can hear the whir of the lathe. I knock and wait. In a moment he's there, clad in blue-gray overalls, a dust-mask over his mouth and nose. He greets me and allows me inside, providing I don't touch anything. I enter and sit on a small chair and watch him work. The room smells of cedar dust and Verethane. I tromp patterns in the sawdust on the floor with my feet.