Thank you Mr. Boring ~ Deckard

10 Jun 2024

  Back in the early 2000's, I owned and operated a small country grocery store called 'The Village Market.' It was located in Pine Grove, Va.,  just off the Appalachian Trail. There was a restaurant just up the road that Robert Duval frequented quite often and Mount Weather (FEMA) was just on the other side of the mountain. There were a group of regulars that the town nicknamed 'The rough Riders.' They all grew up in Pine Grove and were a bit older than me at that time. One member of this group; Todd Torrey, was a local baseball legend and also went by the name; 'Birdman' because of his taxidermy business. He also sold fishing lures that he made himself. Todd stopped by the store on occasion for some beer and a sandwich and would pass on a story or two while he waited and I always looked forward to his visits. He was just a naturally kind and cool guy. Never had a bad word to say about anyone and always had this great unforced grin on his face. He should have been an actor. People were just drawn to him. Todd, unfortunately had a bad ticker. On the last night of his life he came into the store just before closing and bought a 6 pack and smokes. He turned as he was leaving...shot me a wink and said ''Take care now!'' The next morning I was told that Todd passed in his sleep. Within a few days I began working on a piece called 'The Birdman of Pine Grove' and sent it to 2 local papers as a tribute to Todd. Both papers published it. About a week later, as I was opening up at 7:00 AM, I noticed a car parked outside the store...apparently waiting for me to open. A few minutes later, a lady walked into the store and placed a large manila envelope on the counter. She asked if I was Mr. Owens and I said yes. She then asked me to open the envelope. Inside were a number of letters she had received from friends and relatives of Todd. They were responding to the poem they had seen in the paper and they were all very complimentary. The lady was Todd's wife, who I had never met. She took my hand and said; "You've captured him so well...thank you!"  
   After many, many years of the bad, but eventually improving pastime of my life, I was rewarded with this moment and it made it all worthwhile. Many years have passed since, but it was worth the wait to experience that feeling again. I hope you realize how much your kind words mean to me. I've been on here for quite some time and consider it my getaway...with friends I don't see...but friends I would hate to lose. Thank you MJ!  ~ Deckard







I began writing poetry when I was a teenager and it truly saved me from a destructive path. 'Time Heals' will be on my grave stone'. I have 3 incredible kids who are the greatest gifts that God has given me. If I have advice to give to aspiring...

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