Letter to Joe,

By Larry Dablemont, Contributing Columnist
Posted 12/13/23

I’m sure you remember old Ed Bradbury and Maggie, you haven’t been gone that long. Years ago we ducks on the slough over on the back of Ed’s farm, where you go to floundering around …

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Letter to Joe,


I’m sure you remember old Ed Bradbury and Maggie, you haven’t been gone that long. Years ago we ducks on the slough over on the back of Ed’s farm, where you go to floundering around in the mud and nearly got in over your hip boots. Well, Ed was in the pool hall last Saturday most of the afternoon and returned to find Maggie lying dead on the living room couch. If you don’t remember Ed, I’m sure you remember Maggie. In her younger days there wasn’t a man in these parts who didn’t envy old Ed. Everyone use to wonder how in the dickens he wound up with her. Anyway she’s gone! Doc Harris told Preacher Bishop this morning that he figured it was her heart, but no one will ever know. Ed is taking it pretty hard, but that’s to be expected, as close as they were.

I talked to him just last week in town when he was in getting her some medicine and he said at the time she just didn’t feel like getting out of the pick-up. That’s not at all like Maggie, you know how outgoing she was. I spoke to her that evening, but she didn’t pay much attention, she was just sitting there looking out the window as if she didn’t even know who I was. I didn’t realize how old she was getting, but if you think about it, Ed brought her to this country nigh onto 15 years ago. I remember she didn’t like it at first, and Ed though about taking her back to the city, but Maggie was quick to make friends and in no time at all it was like she’d been here all her life.

The two of them were inseparable, every Saturday when Ed came in town to buy feed, she’d ride along, sitting right over next to him as if she were afraid he was going to get away from her. They’d drop by the filling station on the way home and he’d buy her a candy bar while he had a bottle of pop. Of course she was a beauty back then, back before she put on so much weight. I’m sure that getting so heavy was hard on her health, but Maggie just loved to eat, and Ed bought her nothing but the best!

They had her funeral on Sunday afternoon, but not too many of Ed’s friends were there and I guess Ed’s pretty upset about that too. But shucks it was all so fast most of us were gone or didn’t know about it until Monday or Tuesday. I’d have been there if I hadn’t been hunting ducks. I thought the world of her. In fact, I never told anyone this, but she came over to my place once when Ed made that trip to the city and spent most of the day. We went for a swim down at the creek. But she was a smart one…she was back home an hour before Ed was. She was partial to me and one of Ed’s neighbors, old Horace Glitch. She’d get a little peeved cause she couldn’t go in the pool hall with Ed, and she’d sneak off down to the river where Horace was bank-fishing and drinking beer, and not come in ‘til after dark. Ed never did know where she’d been, and still don’t I reckon. That Maggie loved beer and pretzels even more than candy bars.

Some of his friends think it’s ridiculous for Ed to be carrying on this way, but they don’t know how much he thought of Maggie. And Ed doesn’t have anyone else, his wife left him 8 or 10 years ago. She told him to choose between them and he chose Maggie. Who could blame him, that wife of his never shut up, and she spent money like it grew on trees. And she constantly found fault with old Ed. Maggie never did…anything Ed did was all right with her. Well to all those who say it’s silly for a man that age to grieve so over a dog, I say they don’t know what it’s like to lose a good Labrador! That Maggie was a sweetheart.

Well, I’d best sign off Joe. I want to take my old dog Magnum out in the morning and see if we can work some ducks before Christmas gets here. The mallards and the green-wings are in pretty good, and the wood ducks are long gone. Can’t wait to see you and the family at Christmas.


The Lightnin’ Ridge Magazine’s Christmas issue is almost 100 pages of great reading. You can get one mailed to you by calling Gloria at 417-777-5227.