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Inez, Buck, and the Whoop

John W. Pinkerton


They’re gone now...both of them, Inez, our neighbor, and Buck, her brother.  I could always tell when Buck was visiting his sister---usually on Sundays.  As he crossed the brief distance from his truck parked at the curb to his sister’s front door, he let out with a  whoop, a whoop loud and strong more appropriately raised in a rural setting.

Buck’s whoop was a mystery to me from the first time I witnessed it…but I’ve always had a special appreciation for Buck’s whoops.  It’s definitely a friendly, confident whoop, the kind of whoop which announced his arrival in a friendly land. 

Inez and Linda and I were not only neighbors but also friends.  We visited each other at least once a week and were aware of the comings and goings of each other.  Inez always had a smile to share with us, and I always enjoyed Inez’s sense of humor. 

We suspected something was going on with Inez when she began showing up at our home for visits dressed in her Sunday best on days other than Sunday.  I found her attire charming, but also a little alarming.

Before long she was in a nearby nursing home.  My mother was in the same home, so we had opportunities to visit with her.  Inez was just as pleasant and smiling and talkative as ever.  However, she didn’t know who Linda and I were nor anyone else for that matter.

The children asked me to be one of the pallbearers.  Of course I was honored.  Her family has their own cemetery near Snook---what a pleasant location surrounded by trees far from highways .

Anyway, back to Buck.  I never had an opportunity to get to know Buck, but I felt as though I knew him from his whoop.

I suspect that Buck’s whoop, although a greeting, was also a demand for others to recognize that he was still here and a force to be dealt with.

I can relate to that.