Posted by: morrowsl | October 24, 2013

John R

John R

Word came today that John Robert Evans has died. And another link to the farm is broken.

When Jim and Ginny were still alive and we were visiting every year, Sunday afternoons were set aside for friends and neighbors to stop by and have a chin wag out in the shop with Jim and Pete, and us, when we were there. That’s how I met John Robert, or John R as he was called. Of all the people I met in Mike’s hometown, John R was the most colorful and easily the most interesting. He was loud and opinionated. His smile was a quick and subtle flash, but came easily and always with a twinkle in his eye. He kept a stub of a cigar between his fingers and every now and then he’d remember it was there and have a drag.

He was Ginny’s cousin, and she liked to recall him as a younger man, never failing to mention the fact that he was handsome, back then. She would talk about his mother and how, just days after he was born, she’d gone out to wash the windows on her house and ended up dead. I would always suggest that housework will kill a good woman, and Ginny usually agreed. I think the fact that John R had grown up without his mother helped him secure a large place in my mother-in-law’s heart. No child should grow up so.

But that didn’t seem to make John R less capable of loving or being loved. He was married and raised a nice family. And he always seemed, at least to me, to be a pretty happy guy.

While he was still County Commissioner and driving over hill and dale, he happened across a huge Black Labrador and decided it needed a home on the farm. Jim and Pete named the dog J.R. and he was easily the equal to his human namesake. Larger than any Lab I’ve ever known, J.R. had a head the size of a steer and no idea that his body was just as big. Jim gave him a deer antler to chew on and he’d stumble along, throwing it up in the air and watching it land, grabbing it with his island-sized jaws and throwing his head left and right, he’d come at you like a bull on the charge. It’s a wonder nobody ever ended up in the hospital.

J.R., like John Robert, lived a long and full life and was missed sorely when he was gone.

John Robert will be sorely missed as well.

Now, turning the corner onto Stoney Point Road and looking over to see if John R’s truck is in the garage will no longer be a part of my ride out from town. Eventually someone else will occupy the neat little house, at least I hope so. But it won’t be the same.

John Robert Evans was 98 years young.  Godspeed, John R.


  1. SO sorry you have to lose another connection to those wonderful days. But I’m also glad you have such good memories to help bring you peace. Love you, Bestie!

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