Friday, June 19, 2009

Shoot-out - A Man of Mettle

Most of you know that my Friday Shoot-outs are, usually, very light hearted and sometimes bordering on ridiculous. However, today is not a day for frivolity. The sun has set on the earthly life of my great friend, James.
He is a man of mettle. For the last twenty five years we have shared one great new adventure after another. He passed away last Sunday night, peacefully, in his sleep. Pancreatic cancer has taken him very quickly.
This week, I have been engaged in preparing and carrying out (today) a memorial service for him, as well as assisting the family. I am sorry that this post had to take a back burner to those important events.
My Shoot-out is dedicated to my friend. Most of the photos were shot at his farm. I did take many metal shots to stay, mostly, on task.
Life is precious. So are friends. Thanks to all of you for being the quality friends that you are. May God bless you in all of the righteous desires of your hearts.
This sunset was in Ninilchik, Alaska. James and I had more than one great adventure on the Kenai Peninsula.

He was more than a friend, more than a brother. I am comforted in the belief that I will see him again. We made a pact that he will have a fishing rod waiting for me when we meet again.

His wife loves birdhouses. He loved making them. What a team!

One of his seventeen grandchildren, enjoying the tree swing, today.

This old shed/garage dates back to his boyhood days, when he helped his father build it.

James was, rightfully, proud of his homemade smoker. I wish each of you could taste the smoked mullet (and other fish) we enjoyed from it.

Inside, the pans on the rack remain where he hung them.

This old birdhouse condo gains more character as the days go by.

Inside, birdhouses don't enjoy the same aging.

Torches, welders, and other farm implements stand unused.

Only a few short months ago, he plowed his field for a spring garden.

He loved his tractors.

Plow blades still wait to do their work.

The aluminum canoe has been a memory maker for the two of us, but, even before that a character builder for his children.

The horse shoes hang, rusting, in his barn.

He blessed me with one last nighttime fishing trip, only a few weeks ago.
We sat together and talked about the important things in life. Thank you, James. You are the best!


  1. sorry to hear about ur friend. I hope ur doing ok.

  2. Great tribute Dad. We will all miss him! You were a great friend!

  3. This is a blessing of a tribute to honor your friend, James. It is always refreshing to hear that other know the truth also, that we shall see our beloved friends and family once again, and to know that they are free. It is to our loss that they can no longer remain but to your gain that they once lived and enjoyed life with us.

    My dad's best friend also passed on recently, just a few weeks ago. My mother went ahead of us last has been almost a year now. Her home is nearly the same as when she left. My dad's heart aches as he's lost two of his most treasure of people...he's learning to be himself all over again, and who that self is.

    I will keep you and James' family lifted in prayer, Gordon. Bless you BIG for all that you've done and continue to do for his family.


  4. So sorry to hear about your friend, Gordon. I did not know you had lost a dear friend.

    How nice of you to honor him.

    I think the two photos that touched me most was the shed he help his father build and the smoker. I can hear a lot of laughter and tall tales (fishing tales) coming from that smoker.

    And of course, the photo that you closed with - his smiling face, makes me feel like I knew him.

    Thank you so much for sharing your friend with us.

  5. Oh, Gordon, I am so very sorry to hear that you lost a true friend. This was a touching and honorable tribute.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  6. Gordon, I am so sorry to hear about your wonderful friend! And I agree - you will be reunited! I think that it is so lovely that you dedicated this post to him, and I want to thank you for sharing James with all of us. The story you tell with each picture gives us a sense of what a strong friendship the two of you had, and I am so happy to hear that only two weeks ago, you were out fishing together.

    Gordon, my heart goes out to you and to James' family. You are all in my prayers.

  7. Gordon, that was a beautiful tribute to your friend. We should all be so lucky to have been blessed with such a friendship as yours and James. I know you will miss him. Prayers for you and his family and all that loved him.

  8. What a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing your friend with us.

  9. A very moving and beautiful post Gordon. As you know, death has touched our family recently as well, so I know all to well the pain of your loss.

    I loved the bird houses James made. They are beautiful and full of character. In fact I think the bird house condo was my favourite photo.

  10. Thanks to all of you for your outpouring of support and concern. I am fine. James' family will be, also. Death is part of life.

  11. Death is sad, as I know all too well, but through it we gain an insight and remember to appreciate all things around us...I can visualize him sailing off into the sunset to catch the big one that is waiting...

  12. A wonderful, touching post. A reminder to us all; take nothing for granted. Beautiful pictures! Love those birdhouses!

  13. Farewell James, may God bless you and keep you safe in Heaven.

    p.s. Your birdhouses ....are so so beautiful.

    Thanks Gordon for a very touching post.

  14. Mortality is but a thin sliver of eternity.

  15. Finally there it goes the set of great photos which i usually waiting every week's challenge. I love them as always! I love the pans most!

  16. Wonderful post, Gordon. A true memorial to someone I wish I'd known.

  17. Sorry to hear your friend has passed. I enjoyed your tribute to your friend.

  18. A new shoot out member here Gordon. What a beautiful tribute. Thank you so much for letting us be a part of it. What a blessing for you to have such a great friend.

  19. Gordon, I am so sorry to hear of your loss! I will join you in mourning this week since I lost my dear uncle just last week and I very much know the pain of loss, be it family or friend. May your pain of loss be brief and your memories long lived!! Debby

  20. Sorry for you loss and I hope you can be a great comforter to the family!

  21. I am so sorry about your friend - I enjoyed the blog you wrote about him several weeks ago and this one is a great memorial to him. Hugs in your time of loss.

  22. That was a very moving Shoot-Out. The bird houses are amazing!