Kickass and brother Orville

Kickass, the doorstop dog, listens up as the keeper reports on a visit with his brother Orville during which the accuracy of childhood stories was challenged for both of them.  It has, after all, been more than 80 years.

One constant is the adjustments that life demands, in Orville’s case, last year he lived on 180 acres in northwest Wisconsin, some of which was the home farm where he grew up, but is now covered with trees, most of which he had planted, where he fed birds and bears, and had tools and sheds and endless projects, and was surrounded by old friends and neighbors who honored him for his extensive work with the local historical museum, and where when the deep snows came, as they always did, he climbed on an old cab-less Case tractor and plowed the way out for himself and his wife Shirley.

Now, in the interests of essential medical care for Shirley who has survived three different cancers and flunked out of hospice by surviving, Orv and Shirley live in a Verona independent living facility where Orv’s world is incredibly remote from the beloved northland that he shared with the bears.

Orv was professional military–22-years two Vietnam tours and retiring as a Lt. Colonel, which meant that he could have required that the keeper as a former NCO salute him. He didn’t, but the keeper salutes him anyway; He is one great “little” brother, and the keeper apologizes yet again for using him as a coaster wagon test pilot and crashing him into the silo.

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