Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Carla's Memorial Slideshow to Her Dad and Kathi's Tribute to her Father-In-Law

Bob's CCA president picture

On this final day of posting parts of our memorial service I want to post the link to Kathi's tribute to Bob.  She has written a poem which I think is beautiful.

Kathi is giving Bob his last haircut.  Danny and I tried but she had to step in and do the job right!

Carla with her Papa

Carla made a Smilebox slide show for the service.  This is it.  I think you can see the pictures a lot better this way.  Enjoy. 
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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Now Darcy wants me to make Bob's Facebook page a memorial.  I guess I will check it out on Google and try it.

Darcy helping Grampa spray the thistles.

Darcy is the last of our grandchildren to graduate from High School.  I am in Washington to see him get his diploma this week.  Here he is with his Grampa his sophomore year.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Erin and JJ Remember

Grampa and Erin sharing the love!

The post for  today is the second in my eulogy series.  Erin presented this tribute to her Grampa at the memorial service.  Those of you who could not be there will be able to read it.  She wrote the poem when she was in high school for both of her Grampas and then modified for each one at their memorial services. I think she did a great job!

Erin with Grampa and Meemo

His Hands Remember
By Erin Buckingham

Hands thin, old skin stretched tight over knobby fingers,
Both hands gnarled and achy from years of hard work and arthritis.

One crooked fingered hand grabs a bag of popcorn and sticks it in the microwave.
It pokes the buttons with its slender fingers.
The other shaky hand stays at his side.

These hands had seen better days, when they held the reins of the wild horses, Clutching the saddle horn as the horses would buck,
Holding on till the horse was tame. 
Being there at the ranch was like being set free in the sky,
To roam and wander all you wanted.
Now the hands were too tired for such adventures
And had to be stuck inside this old country house.

I asked Grandpa if he’d ride horses today if I lent him my hands.
I asked if he would show me how to ride.

“Come here,” he said, “and let me see your hands.”
He stared at them with longing in his eyes;
A hint of a smile spread appreciatively across his face. 
Softly he replied, “Lend them to me, babe, and we’ll make popcorn together.”

Erin and her husband Brent

Erin’s Eulogy for Grandpa Manville

Grandpa loved everyone unconditionally.  He let us in, all of us, and even if you aren’t an immediate member of the family, Grandpa always treated you as if you were.  I know for a fact that he loved me, there’s no doubt in my mind.  I know that he loved you all, too.
               Love isn’t always expressed in the simple words, “I love you.”  These are powerful words, but Grandpa put action behind them.
               The Bible gives the perfect definition of what love is and what it isn’t.  The Bible says that a person’s life amounts to nothing without love.  Well, knowing this I can confidently say, Grandpa Manville led a full life.  Here’s what the Bible says about Love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-13
The Message (MSG)
3-8 “If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.”

Love never dies!  The love Grandpa had for his family, both blood related and “adopted” will live on.  He taught us how to love and we will carry his legacy on to others.  The next verses in this passage of the Bible go on to say,

“12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

We’ve been taught by one of the best how to love extravagantly, and now it is our turn to trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, and best of all love extravagantly.

 By Erin Jones Buckingham, May 27, 2014

JJ and Erin at the Cabin

                Jeanette’s Eulogy for Dad
               I have a few words to say about my dad, but I am allergic to microphones.  They make me cry!  Thank you Erin for reading this for me.
               My memories of dad are many.  I only wanted to share 3 memories with you.  I loved spending time playing Rummy with Dad.  We would play on Dad’s bed and watch Barnaby Jones on TV.  We played Dad’s rules apparently, because when I played with mom, she told me, “Those were not the rules.”  She said Dad makes up the rules.
               Another memory of Dad was when he and I went haying together.  We would drive to the Buffalo Ranch and take a detour for breakfast Ding Dongs and chocolate milk.  It had to be healthy because I was pregnant with Micah!  We would eat our breakfast and then set to work on greasing the baler.  I would crawl in the knotter and Dad would do the rest.  We baled hay all day and then went home to do it all again the next day.
               The last memory I will share is the time we went to Sturgis on our motorcycles and Mom and Dad snuck to Nevada and stayed at our house waiting for us to come back so they could surprise us.  Dad was so proud of himself!  That is just how Dad was.  He was all about his family.  He loved us all dearly, and the love he and Mom showed us taught us how to love others.  I know that the reason it hurts so bad to lose Dad is because we loved so hard, and when you love that much, it hurts that much to say goodbye.
               I got to tell him goodbye the last time I saw him.  I told him I loved him and thanked him for loving me.  I let him know that it was an honor to be his daughter.  God gave us such a wonderful gift when he gave us Robert and Penny Manville.  I truly am blessed and loved.
               Goodbye Papa.  I love you! 

By Jeanette Manville Jones, May 27, 2014

 I just had to put up these two pictures of Erin and Paul.  Erin is the only girl out of 10 cousins! There are only 10 days between Erin and Paul and he has always "taken care of " his only girl cousin.  Well.....sort of anyway.  He included her in all their night games and once rescued her from the "ballroom" at McDonald's when they were about 3 or 4 years old.

Erin and Paul (yesterday's eulogy).  They have always been close cousins!

Erin and Paul hiking up to Aqua Fria a few years ago.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Memories of Bob Written By His Grandkids

Today I want to start posting a couple eulogies that My Grandkids gave at Bob's memorial service.  I am so proud of them!  The first one was given by Paul Shriver, Carla and Jim's oldest son.  He lives in California now and is a script writer for trailers for games.  He has every young person's dream job.  He plays computer games all day!  Here is his speech:

Paul on horseback with his Grampa

My grandpa is going to go down as the stuff of American legends. Pecos Bill roping tornadoes, Paul Bunyun taming a blue ox, Teddy Roosevelt’s walking stick, and Bob Manville’s shirtless singing.
I’ve always seen him as a walking embodiment of the American West. The man in the cowboy boots who was never afraid. The man who beat cancer more times than XXX. The man who was king of the Cabin.
Like all legends, his passing from this world is almost mythical.

Bob still his optimistic self.

On his last Friday, the hospice people said he wouldn’t make it through the weekend. Ever the fighter, Friday night passed and he was still holding on. Saturday night came and went, Bob Manville was still with us. And then on Sunday, a couple hundred miles away, there appeared a raging storm cell on Wyoming Highway 450 between Wright and Newcastle. Stormchasers from Oklahoma tripped over themselves as they filmed this incredible image of the clouds sweeping majestically across the plains and then opening like the of eye of a cyclops.  This celestial cylinder descended from heaven to Earth. Or maybe going up from Earth toward the sky.

He made it through the weekend and died on a Monday. I like to think that that storm cell was Grandpa’s spirit taking one last victory lap across the West before departing to whatever’s next.
I’ve heard all these incredible second-hand stories of Grandpa from before I was born. Flying makeshift planes over precarious mountains, navigating onto unfinished dirt landing strips. He was a combat medic. He rode horses, four-wheelers, six-wheelers, three-wheelers, snow mobiles, Argos, trucks, tractors, blue WWII-era jeeps . Anything that could be steered, he guided expertly.

The man lived 78 years and touched more souls than we could count.
I want to share a few anecdotes.

Grampa in the stockyards at the National Western  trying to look gruff!

As a kid, I’d spend my summers at the cabin. These adventures with my cousins and Meemo and Grandpa into the realm of Manville were the best possible way to spend the summer.
Through all the time I spent with him, Grandpa remained a kind of stoic paragon of badassery. Tenacious, but a little mysterious.
There are a few things I can say with certainty about my grandpa.
He was absolutely a no bullshit kind of guy. Forgive me, I feel a little bad about using the term bullshit in a church. But Bob Manville would have no reservations. He didn’t sugar coat the truth. He told you what was what and he did it in no uncertain terms.

Bob and Allen Koester loading up the pack horse on an infamous backpacking trip

 Grandpa was the first person I heard curse. My mom would always scold him, but that never stopped him. If anything it just egged him on. 
“Penny! The damned democrats are at it again!”
“Ugh, the Broncos really got their asses kicked into the dirt.”
“You kids knock off the nonsense or I’m gonna beat your butts!”
It wasn’t ever vulgar when he cursed. To my innocent virgin ears it was just… cool. Like he wasn’t afraid to wield this harsher language.
Like any grandfather, he had a healthy stable of stupid jokes.
I’d say something like Grandpa I’m hungry.
And he’d say Hi Hungry, I’m Bob
Classic grandpa.
He had nicknames for most of his Grandkids. My brother Thomas, he called you Tomasina, Colton was Coaltrain, Skyman. I don’t think Erin got one because she was the lone granddaughter, his prairie princess.
And he would call me Red, or Redhead sometimes.

Maybe not shirtless this time but still a familiar scene in recent years!

As any of us grandkids can attest, it was not rare to see him sprawled on the couch shirtless. Watching his Westerns, or doing his crosswords, not giving a damn what anybody thought.
Most of the time he was also singing Way down upon Smokey River or Louie Louie Louie Louie. Singing very loudly. Singing pretty close to in-tune. But the words more often than not were ridiculously inaccurate.
He showed us a lot of the scars he had across his belly from surgeries and cancers.
Does it hurt? I remember asking him.
Nah, they just keep cutting it out. He said. Only thing is they’re running out of places to cut. And then he laughed. Like he really wasn’t afraid at all.

In high school and college, I would sometimes bring girlfriends up to the Cabin. When he met a girl he liked, his eyes would light up and out of nowhere he would activate this insane Casanova charm.
This genuine smile a mile-wide would turn on and he would enter what I like to call “True Gentlemen”-mode.
Tip his cowboy hat, say “Well howdy miss.”
This old, weathered cowboy would captivate those girls and they would be absolutely woo’d by him.
That was the grandpa I knew and had seen my whole life.
But I sensed there was a layer below that was sort of unknown to me. 
Grandpa was a man who could recount the process of something very well.
I remember him describing his chemotherapy and the implications of his test results and how the doctors would be doing X procedure with Y medicine. It was technical and medical but he described it with knowledge.
The thing he didn’t share was his feelings about the results. His hopes or fears. It was all words related to the technical course of action. Matter of fact. No bullshit.
I think that’s a hallmark of tough mountain folk. It’s near impossible to get them… us, to open up. Anyone who ever talked to him on the phone knows his favorite phrase. What-not-so.
I honestly have no idea what “what-not-so” even means. It’s not in the dictionary. It’s not something I’ve ever heard anyone else say.
I think its ambiguity makes it very versatile as a phone phrase.
It could mean anything from “I don’t want to talk to you, but I’m being polite” to “You’re my family and I’m proud of you and support you through thick and thin.”
So maybe that’s the heart of “what-not-so”. It’s all that’s left unsaid, that doesn’t need to be said because it’s deeply felt.
The one time with me that Grandpa skipped what-not-so and said what he felt was the last time I saw him.
I remember I said good-bye to him and I knew it was going to be the last time. He sat in that blue chair, a blanket wrapped around him, looking more frail than he’d ever been.
I hugged him and looked into his eyes and I saw something that I’d never seen before. His eyes were soft and piercing at the same time. It was weird and intense, but comforting and intimate. Like I was seeing him and he was seeing into me.
He said, “Goodbye Paul. I love you.”
And his arms gave me a really firm squeeze that surprised me, he was still super strong.

Grampa is telling Thomas how to set the headgate.

There is one distinct image I have of him that’s probably how I’ll remember him forever, and I want to share it with the wider world.
It was early on a summer morning, maybe around 7 am.
I was going to use the bathroom or play gamegear or who knows what, and I saw him standing, looking out the north window on the second story of the Cabin. He had binoculars pulled to his eyes, surveying cattle or the last remnants of melting snow on the ridge.
He was shirtless, of course. His boots were on. His scars exposed for the world to see, and he was singing loudly, obnoxiously some might say. Some.  
But he towered there, studying the land, the morning light splashing across his scarred stomach. And in this moment, I saw him as this heroic figure. No fears in the world. A swagger that couldn’t be measured by any instruments known to man. A conqueror of cancer. The American Legend.
He looked over at me and he said, “Did I wake you from your beauty sleep Redhead?”
He gave me a big ole grin. And then in his deep baritone he went right back to singing, “Way down upon the Smokey River.”
And that was my grandpa.  
By Paul Shriver, May 27, 2014

Tomorrow I will have Erin's memories. and hopefully some more pictures.