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The Day the Music Died

"I can't remember if I cried,

when I read about the widowed bride.

but something touched me deep inside,

the day the music died.


........a long, long time ago, I can still remember, Elaine belonged to an internet chat group dealing with spinning and fiber. Elaine enjoyed this chat group, as some of the participants were funny, some knowledgeable; you get the drift.

One day I came home from work and Elaine announced,

Elaine: A woman in Kansas needs someone to rescue four llamas

Me: Oh.

Elaine: Yeah, she has cancer and she is moving to Oklahoma. She can't take the llamas.

Me: Oh.

Elaine: She lives in Hartford, Kansas. That's in the southeast corner of Kansas.

Me: Oh.

Elaine: I've talked to her, I told her we would be there Saturday.

Me: OHHH......H! I guess we are going on a road trip. What are we using to carry llamas in?

Elaine: I have that handled. I've borrowed Dr. Johnson's trailer.

I'm not against road trips, I have driven from northern Colorado to Texas twice to attend Jerry Jeff Walker concerts. Once to Austin and once to Gruene. I actually tried to go three times but one time it was snowing, I had to turn around. This tidbit has absolutely nothing to do with this story.

Elaine and I got out the trusty Rand/McNally (I told you it was a long time ago.) and determined we were about to embark on a 700 (+, -) mile road trip to rescue four llamas.

When we arrived in Kansas, I realized we were not actually rescuing the llamas, we were buying the llamas. I'm not sure that Elaine knew this before we left for Kansas. I am sure I will never ask, but my mind went into overdrive. Did I just pass a couple hundred llamas that I could have bought and not drove 700 miles? Jerry Jeff popped into my head. Did I do it again? I remembered driving not once but twice to Texas to watch concerts. I could have just bought an album in town.

The woman insisted the llamas stay together. If we took one, we took them all. Elaine wasn't going to have it any other way, she wanted them all. We loaded up, Joe (the biggest), TK (the crankiest), Kelly (the athlete) and Zack (the prettiest). (We have two photos of Zackin the store. Stop by and see them. You might as well pick up a couple skeins while your there. Ivy made me write this part.)


Joe (shaking hands)

These four llamas provided Elaine and I so much entertainment, pleasure and life over the last twenty plus years. Elaine and I entered human/llama endurance races with these guys. We went on walks. They were our family.


TK (the cranky spitter)

One by one, the llamas got everything they could out of life and passed away. Except Zack. Zack lost his three buddies, but he just hung on. At the start of the last few winters, Elaine and I would silently wonder if this would be the year Zack would pass. His black and white hair started to get streaks of gray. Each spring Zack would greet the warm weather. (Our veterinarian believed Zack was the oldest llama he had ever seen.)

Kelly and Adam (little white alpaca)

Kelly chewing on a straw (Llamas have banana ears, Alpaca have small ears)

Llamas are herd animals, but Zack never joined the rest of the herd after his last buddy passed. Oh, he could see the herd, but he was never really close to the herd. At feeding time, Zack was always the last llama to be fed. It was his choice, he hung back and let everyone start eating before he would join in. Zack expected to be fed by himself. Always last and always away from the herd.


Zack (the beautiful)

Last night, at feeding time the herd met me at the barn. Zack, always late and always last, didn't come to the barn. I was impatient and decide to hurry him up. I walked into the pasture and spotted Zack lying in the pasture. I knew immediately he was gone. He was with Joe, TK, and Kelly.

Walking out to where Zack was lying, a song popped into my head.

Yesterday, the music died at our home. Our old guard is gone, but they are together again. We still have llamas, but not Joe, TK, Kelly or Zach.

Ivy tells me the Pope says dogs go to heaven. So do llamas, especially the pretty ones.

"If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?" (Freebird/Lynyrd Skynyrd) We will always remember Zack with his buddies. I want to believe Zack is in a place where he is eating first.

I should probably thank Don McClean. It took a long time for me to understand that song. But today I do. March 16, 2018, the day the music died.

OK, this story is a little different than I usually do. The twins were just as funny this past week as any other week. Hopefully, we'll be back to normal next week. This story was for me. God Bless you guys.

Our crazy lives!


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