SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - "Meet You All In Heaven, Where The Flowers Never Fade"

By Bob Weaver 2002

Simon Greathouse was a Calhoun character for most of the last century, passing away in his late 70's in 1998.

He walked all over this land nearly every day of his life, from Mt. Zion to Grantsville, Pine Creek to Cremo. He must of walked a million miles in his lifetime.

He was the first person I took for a ride when I got my auto license in 1956. He never forgot my willingness to haul him around.

He took spells of "professional" thumbing, leaning forward as far as he could lean without getting run over, flapping his arm up and down and staring intently into the eyes of an oncoming driver.

The message was "Stop for me, you idiot, or else!"

Simon got to where he wanted to go.

Sometimes he would stretch out in the middle of a country road and take a nap. Not long before he died, I screeched to a halt on Pine Creek within inches of his body, Simon snoozing and unconcerned.

I gave him a chewing, but he seemed not to mind.

Sometimes he would rest himself in an old junk car at William "Tap" Kerby's place, particularly if it started to rain.

Simon had dangling legs, disconnected and flopping as he strolled down the road. You could spot him a mile away.

Sometimes he would sorta lose his sense of forward direction and stumble sideways, just a few steps, raising suspicion he was drunk. He wasn't.

Usually he wore a dress sport coat, summer or winter, and his ever present red ball cap.

He passed the house every Saturday morning on his way to Lexie Miller's to get his bologna sandwich, made by Opal.

He often checked my mailbox for any interesting mail, carefully looking at each piece and returning it to the slot.

He would come up on the porch and sit a spell waiting for his drink of water or some conversation. In the winter, he would come in to warm.

It would be fair to say that Simon had a special interest in the ladies along his walking route or during his visits to Grantsville stores.

He would often inquire about their availability. "You're a fine lookin' woman," he'd say.

A newly married friend of mine from St. Clairsville OH brought his bride to Hur for a visit, she having dropped from her distinction as a nun.

While having a cook-out on the deck with the visitors, Simon spotted the very attractive woman, and came closer to say hello. "You're just about the prettiest thing God ever put down on earth," he said. She kindly thanked him, acknowledging her awareness of God and creation.

We wrote of his misadventures with our electric fence while Dianne was gardening.

After several warnings he declared, "I know all 'bout them electric fences," after which he bent down and touched his leathery neck against the top strand, the shock sending him reeling backward, over-the-hill toward the woods.

Dianne thought she killed him, but he was fine.

He climbed back up the hill and informed her, "You orten to have that thing hooked up like that."

Following an incident for which he was excused by the manager of the Rite Aid drug store in Grantsville, Simon expressed his gratitude toward her, saying "A drop of your sweat would cure TB."

He never missed church at Cremo, even during the deep snows.

It was always a sight to see Simon riding on the back of Captain Spock's motorcycle on the return trip.

The fact was, despite his annoyances, his shortcomings and his problems, he fit rather well in these parts.

When called upon to testify down at the Cremo church, Simon the Faithful would always say: "I hope to meet you all in Heaven someday, where the flowers never fade."

We miss him.