Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eulogy of David Horst Sr.

David John Jacob Horst Sr.
May 6, 1928 - June 26, 2013

My family has suffered a tremendous loss.  We could see it coming from a long way off, but that didn't make it any less of a shock.  When the phone rang at 3:30 in the morning, it could mean only one thing -- what we thought was just days left with him turned out to be only hours.

Still,  I'm fortunate to have had him for 56 years.  Maybe he knew I was going to take that long to shape.   More likely it was that he knew my sister Jane would take nearly 60 years.

Most of what's best about me came from him.  My calm, my patience were his gifts.  That I know a crescent wrench from an open end and can use them to replace a fuel pump or bleed a brake line is his doing.  I got most of what we'll call his attention to detail.  Others might use the word perfectionist.   His blue eyes,  he kept for himself.  His instant and uncanny sense of direction I didn't inherit either. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Paddling Fox headwaters offers a twist

By David Horst

PORTAGE -- We stood there with clothes drenched and the rain beating down.

The landing on Swan Lake where we had taken a break for lunch offered no shelter, other than the mature trees. Still, I was defending the turtle.

I’ve told this story before. Early in the first season of the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Paddle in 2010, an Ottawa medicine woman spoke to us about native healing traditions. The weather was threatening that day as well, but she reassured us that she had turned over a figurine of a turtle and that would cause the bad weather to pass on either side of us. It did, and we have been turning over turtles ever since.

Our perfect record of no rainouts was on the line.

Though we got doused pretty good last Saturday, the paddle from Indian Trails Campground near Pardeeville, on the headwaters of the Fox, did continue on to its completion after the storm moved off. Turtle exonerated.