Gone Huntin’

November 16, 2017

I’ve told all the deer season related stories I have to tell. Most weren’t really hunting tales anyway, just events which coincided with the annual white tale hunt. I’ve told about my learning to drive, piloting dad’s International Harvester Scout up and down our road in November 1961. That adventure disturbed hunters within a mile of our house. As the orchestrator but not the instructor of that event, Dad’s chuckle always turned to a hearty laugh when he told that story. Always. I was the instrument of his larger joke. It wouldn’t have mattered to me then and it doesn’t now. I’ve been driving since I was 11 years old.

Julie Traynor Postcards from the Pine Columnist

Julie Traynor
Postcards from the Pine Columnist

I’ve told my most sentimental deer season story of all about the birth of our daughter too. That story reveals the long known fact that her November 14 appearance in Flint did not stop her father (who hasn’t missed an opening morning since he began hunting) from hitting the woods in northern Michigan the next morning. 

“They won’t let me stay. I’ll see you two tomorrow night.” Exit the Gardner, then the Hunter, for the north.
Happy Birthday Daughter. It all seems like yesterday.    

*   *   *

Whether you know it or not, our little town was diminished last week by the passing of Carl Patterson. He called Marion, Michigan home for all of his 89 years.

Carl Patterson was a deer hunter, and, at 89, did so for more seasons than some hunters live, only giving it up within the past 10 years. He was a hunter from the old school. He learned to hunt with his brothers on the family farm in Middle Branch. There were no high tech fold up camo covered blinds or shanties tricked out with all the latest electronic and physical comforts. He was a successful hunter long before pails of enticing bait were allowed. He respected the rules, hunted by them and enjoyed the results.

Carl left us quietly last week after a long and good life. If you knew him you know that he loved his wife, his family, his church, our town and cared about a long list of other things. Many of those involved our community and environment. He was a volunteer at many events through the years and always a fisherman. He was no stranger to stretches of the Middle Branch and for many years knew just where to look for trout. He also enjoyed a good catch of blue gills, both the catching on one of the area’s lakes, and the eating.

During my years at the Potting Shed Carl Patterson and I often talked about Marion’s ‘old days’ and the goings on here when he was a boy and young man. He liked to tell some stories and I sure liked to hear them. If he needed a title in addition to those he already had, make it that of historical consultant. If you want to know how things were, ask someone who was there if you can. Ask as many folks as you are able. Our past and its stories disappear every day.

For a number of years I had a standing date with Carl Patterson. On the Friday before Memorial Day, we would load the back of his little pick-up truck with cemetery urn liners and head out to deliver them to remembered folks at the local cemeteries; mainly Greenwood in Marion and the two in Middle Branch cemeteries.

For Carl Patterson this was a trip home. These were his old stomping grounds and the places where he was a boy. Middle Branch is where much of his mother’s homesteading pioneer family is buried. We delivered urns to the old Middle Branch cemetery and without fail we would visit his parents and he would point out other family members. His genealogy was there too. We’d admire the view and the many kinds of lilacs and move on to town.

Like so very many people who call themselves Marionites or claim Marion as their home, we both have family resting at Greenwood. They are among the generations of folks who rest there because of the love of this place. At Greenwood we made our familiar rounds and talked of the many folks there we knew between us. The stones we passed prompted talk of things also passed; certain businesses, school days, holiday events. People. We shared tidbits about the past and I never failed to learn an interesting thing or two and I hope shared some as well.  

Carl Patterson worked at Riverside Electric for its whole run at Marion. This photo was taken at the company Christmas party in 1949. The factory had been in production for a year. The young man in the plaid shirt at the forefront on the right, is Carl Patterson.

Carl Patterson worked at Riverside Electric for its whole run at Marion. This photo was taken at the company Christmas party in 1949. The factory had been in production for a year. The young man in the plaid shirt at the forefront on the right, is Carl Patterson.

While they were both able and agreed, Carl and Faye Patterson bought a plot in Greenwood and chose and placed their marker, minus those end dates, of course. That year, as we headed for Greenwood Carl told me he had some new real estate for us to look at. It was, as he put it, where they would be spending Eternity.

Their plot has a nice view on that windy hill. And if memory serves, there is a motorbike engraved on the stone. That’s a story for the generations to come. Carl will take his place next to Faye in the spring…just about urn liner delivery time.   

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One Response to Gone Huntin’

  1. Denise Robinson Reply

    November 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    ❤️So very sad !!! I ran into Carl & Faye a few years ago at the Pottery barn ,,
    They were both just as nice as always,,, Hadn’t seeneither one in over
    55 years !!!! Once I explained who I wax .. LoL !!! He said I looked the same 😁❤️ Very sorry for Marions loss
    ❤️❤️❤️ Sinerly

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