for Bob Kurtz
Anyone who loves
the outdoors-its changing moods and seasons, its mysteries and
its charms, would have found a soul mate in Bob Kurtz. He was
a man close to the natural world and close to the earth.
He knew its creatures
and many of their secrets: which way the geese would fly from
the refuge on a south-east wind, the right places to stalk the
wild asparagus where the May sun warmed his secret glens and
Bob had a special
love of waterfowl and could identify even the rarest ducks in
flight at astonishing distances.
Like his father,
Dick, Bob loved sporting arms, especially the old classics such
as the Parkers and the L.C. Smiths. Bob usually hunted geese
with his ten-gauge double. His expertise with it was legendary,
and I often saw from across one slough or another geese plummeting
from high up accompanied by the boom of Bob's ten.
Like all true hunters,
bob loved the game he hunted, and delighted in the colors of
big rooster pheasants or the sheen on the plumage of his ducks.
He was a born hunter-gatherer.
Nature to him was
a holy thing, and he worshiped faithfully at its inner shrine-a
kindred spirit with the autumn winds, warmed and ruddied by
the kiss of the October sun. Thus he was not much for churches,
preferring in their stead the vast cathedral dome of the sky,
and I believe he was genuinely thankful for the great gifts
God had given him with the outdoors. He was a grateful partaker
both of its beauty and its bounty.
Bob, like his dad,
was also a great talker and teller of anecdotes, especially
on the topics of hunting or antiques. He had a naturally contagious
enthusiasm when it came to telling of a great hunt he had had
, or about some good buy he had made. He seemed usually happy
even if not rich or famous.
He took great pride
in his family, the accomplishments of his children, the great
cooking of his wife and mother, and his father's well-know prowess
as a marksman. He was a good father and dearly loved his wife.
As long as I've
known Bob, I've never heard him run down another person. Instead
he liked to point out the good things he saw in others, especially
the common, ordinary souls he new from the workaday world. He
found good in most, and liked to brag them up.
So, in his passing,
let me fondly say:
Bob Kurtz, he was
a good man, likeable and kind,
Lord, may he leave the pain of this world,
A better world to find.
May the paradise he moves in
Gleam with lakes and fields and trees;
May the songs of larks and killdeers
Waft upon its spring-like breeze-
May he see his wild geese flying
Over golden bordered sloughs,
See the mists of morning lying
Over meadowed avenues
May he take his father's massive hand
Go roving side by side
O'er a never-dying hunting land
A'glow at eventide.
Then rest beside
that Holy Stream
That fathers all the rest
In a paradise more rich than dream
Among the truly Blessed.
With fondest recollection,
(The neighbor kid
who lived across the field)
No quotes may be used without attribution