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Due to the High Cost of Ammo, (No Warning Shot Will be Fired)

Updated on September 23, 2012

We're in This Together

Hi, Folks. My Name is Lily Staats, and I live in Wasilla, Alaska, the birthplace of Sarah Palin, and Silent George.

I knew Silent George a lot better than Palin. He was our neighbor on Knik. When I got to know him, he was already a determined drunk, but like all people, he had a back story.. My parents treated him like any Human Being, giving him rides, and I remember cringing in the little Hornet, his odor unescapable, but, always, my folks treated him with dignity.

Well, Dad had bought a big potato Farm from a man called Carl Fritzler. We landed there in the 70's from Anchorage like the new white trash in town, but me, I especially wanted to show I had grit, and I bent my back over that cold glacial till, and clawed up bags and bags of that good stuff out of the ground.

From time to time, I'd see this lone creature (Silent George) , ramble down our shared driveway,till he took a turn to the left down that moss covered path to his chickenwire and mud affair he called his home. He'd wave. I'd wave, and look at that sky that housed us both.

After we were moved in properly, and had built a log house, I'd finally got a bead on the fella. Seems he had been a bit of a "big thing" around Wasilla in the early days. He'd got a good prospect up Hatcher Pass, and got some color on that mine.

He set his sights on a gal who wanted nothing to do with him, but I guess she was the only one for him.

He went to a Doctor. He said his heart was broke, or something like it. That Doctor told him, his heart was bad, and was going to give out any time now. And, so, Silent George began to liquor up, to forget his imminent death. He kept on doing it, waiting to kick off.

Years went by. His sweetheart married someone else, but he already had a broke heart, so why not raise a glass of whiskey? He waited to die, but it just did not come.

Finally, he went to that same Doctor, but that Doctor said, "Well, you know George?" I was wrong." "Your heart is healthy as an ox!" "But you know what?" "You've got chirrosis of the liver."

"Your gonna die any day now." Well, George, a man who had had everything, had nothing now. No Family, no Friends, no nothing.

By that time, he was a ghost of a soul, that passed from Wasilla Bar, where he cleaned up for two bottles of Port, which he'd clutch to himself, like the meaning of God.

But... my folks continued to treat him like a man, and invited him in, for soup. Now the first step was three feet into our house for a long time, so, it was by will of strength we got him in there...but my folks never exclaimed when he could not handle the solid chunks of soup,(He had forgotten how to eat), and even tho in the beginning, I was so ashamed to be seen giving George a ride, I later thought, Damn straight, and screw all you asswipes! The man is a Man, no matter what.

And now, I remember the night of the big fire, when George's place lit up like a Christmas tree. I mourned him, and his mangy dog a whole lot more than some of my own kin.

I walked his path so many times, trying to find a whisper of his soul, but it went up in flames as easily as chaff, ready to go home.

I remember standing on a tree, over his hot spring, and trying to gather my strength for what was to come, and I raised up my prayer for him.


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    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Oh, James, I admire you so much, this means so much to me...! Thank you! lily

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      You have a unique ability to pack so much meaning into a small space. You are truly gifted. Thank you for this powerful story. I shall never forget it. Or him. Or you.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      As you read Lady, it happened. Trust you to see it... How I love your heart, sister!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Lily this is an awesome story. This man received respect and you all were better for it. Kindness and compassion are always the right things to feel and to offer. I did not expect this ending at all. I can see you standing there with your face turned to that blue sky and a prayer on your lips.