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Friday, July 29, 2005

Phil -- Walt, what's up?

“ . . . so then Walt leans rolls down the car window and says to the deer ‘ Honey, if you come by my place next week, I’ll have you in for dinner.’”

Several of the guys laughed at this, and then everyone turned and noticed me. The storyteller turned around and motioned to me.

“So Phil, “he said. “I hear you and your hunting buddy ran into a deer that wouldn’t back down.”

“I wasn’t around.” I replied. “He said it happened before I got there.”

“I was telling the guys.” He went on.” Walt has been talking to the deer all his life. This was when I was still in High School, and Walt chaperoned us going into town. We all thought he was nuts. This guy can really talk to them.”

“It’s not what you say,” said Walt, coming into the room suddenly. “It’s just how you say it. You could be reading them baseball scores, and they’d do the same. It’s just that if you’re friendly and conversational with them, they tend not to spook. “. He just passed through, grabbed a soda in the kitchen and went outside to sit on the porch.

“Yep,” said one guy. “That’s Walt for you.”

I wandered out onto the porch and sat down.

“Walt, “ I started. “You’ve got a beautiful place here.”

“No,” said Walt “You’ve got a beautiful place here. This is as much yours as anyone else's. Don’t think of yourself as a guest.“

“I guess I understand.” I replied. “I still don’t get how come my family pulled out. I found out Dad kept paying his dues.”

“It was a long time ago.” Walt said. “Maybe you should talk to your Dad.”

“Do you know?” I asked.

“Yes,” replied Walt. “I was around for what happened. I was in my twenties.”

“And?” I pressed. Walt turned away and looked out into the woods.

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