It's funny, I don't feel sad when we go up to the cemetary where dad is. He's with family and friends. His closest friend is just little way back. I remember Earl stopping to overnight when I was little and he drove a truck for Bird's Eye. And I remember how dad used to tease him about being left handed. He always got stuck on the end of the row of guys working the harvest. If he wasn't careful he'd get his tools caught in the one next to him.
All the little roads still have the names of whoever was working the land when they were laid out. And they change every little bit. You cross the road and Heaton road becomes Jacquith road. There's even a Heaton Creek. My grand dad lost his place during the twenties. I don't think he really a very good business man. But he was the one everyone called when they needed a steer butchered or their hops dried. He rented a place and ran a small dairy while grandma worked for the phone company. In a one person office. Half the kids in town knew how to run the switchboard. Even came in handy for Earl when he got sent overseas as a radioman. Those old army radios were nothing more than miniature cord boards. Surprise, he actually had some idea how to work one.
The road over Chehalem Mountain is paved now. It was gravel back in dad's time. And the road up the mountain coming out of Newburg still has more curves in it than a drunken Boa Constrictor. Imagine trying to drive it at night, in the fog with the little slit head lights they allowed during the wartime black out.
If I feel sad when I'm up there it's because I never got a chance to meet the man. He was gone long before dad met mom. But, as long as the stories are told and remembered he's never really gone.