Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Man named Hoss

Soon after I started my blog ‘Past Imperfect’, over three years ago, I got the following comment from Hoss aka Old Horsetail Snake aka Gene Maudlin:

‘I was here, Ms. Perfect. And will return. You must be pretty close to my age bracket (I'm 75+).’ Jan 16 2006


Hoss was always kind and helpful to new bloggers and I was one of a large number in his thrall. Of course I visited his blog and was hooked and intrigued by his humour and unusual story. He was in an old folk’s home with his wife who later opted for an assisted suicide, which is legal in Oregon where Hoss lived. Hoss wrote most movingly about his wife and many bloggers wrote to express their sympathy.

Then he was re-united with his previous wife Sylvia or Scamp, mother of his children, left the old folks home and they set up home together. This was a life affirming love story and although he had been given a negative prognosis, together they made his last years happy and fulfilling, travelling to Hawaii in spite of all the medical paraphernalia he required as his illness progressed. Throughout Hoss wrote brilliant laugh-out loud posts and until recently carried on visiting all his many followers.

On March 7th Hoss, now in a hospice, chose to use Oregon’s Death with Dignity. My deepest sympathy to Sylvia, Hoss’s children and family and all who loved him.

May he rest in peace.
Lowell Gene Maudlin
1930 - 2009


His good friend Vicki - A Mark on my Wall - http://amarkonmywall.wordpress.com/ has written more fully about Hoss and his correspondence with her, which is well worth reading, as are Hoss’s archives at http://oldhorsetailsnake.blogspot.com/

19 comments:

Eryl Shields said...

The cycle of life. And how marvellous to live and be able to die in such an enlightened society. To afford people the means to die with dignity is surely one of the best uses of human consciousness. A way to ensure that one really will rest in peace.

AndrewM said...

Damn.

He'll be missed.

kenju said...

I have been unable to write about him, since the loss is too deep right now. He was one of the first bloggers to befriend me and I found his humorous posts so funny. I also knew they masked a wonderful person deep inside (maybe not so deep), which was especially evident when he wrote about Betty. I was happy to know that Hoss had Scamp to make him happy in his last years. He will be sorely missed.

R. Sherman said...

I recall his visits and comments here. Unfortunately, I didn't read as much of him as I should have. My thoughts and prayers for his family.

PI said...

Eryl: hopefully the possibility of Death with Dignity will be available world wide before too long.

Judy: I understand - it's not easy- and impossible to convey his spirit in one post. Vicki has done a great job and hopefully people will be inspired to read her post and the archives. He was slightly (months) younger than me and was a bit like the younger brother I lost.

AndrewM: I'm glad you appreciated him:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this information. I have been reading his posts for the last several months and wondered why he had not posted for the last few days. I will miss his humour.

FrankandMary said...

I am a huge advocate of death with dignity. I have a very hard time understanding people who talk about God's will or not playing God. We play God all the time. If you give someone a medication, isn't that affecting the outcome?
Both my parents, had they been left to the bitter end, well, it would have been so very unfair..much more cruel. When I wrote that on my AOL blog, which had a large following, I was attacked by people who said that was NOT my choice. I made it my choice, and I still feel it was the right one for THEM. ~Mary

PI said...

Anon: thank you. I was in two minds but as it turns out quite a few people this side of the pond didn't know what had happened.

Frank and Mary: I hope we will all have the choice before long. Everybody deserves a peaceful death.
People who are not in your shoes don't have the right to judge you.

PI said...

Randall: I wondered if you had come across him. The sad thing is he had a beautifully illustrated blog and just a short time ago he did something - maybe added followers - and then it sort of went haywire and I don't know if anyone can restore it but I think the archives are still there.

Queenie said...

I had picked this up from Shane, I was a lurker over at Hoss's, I used to check in there when I needed a laugh and he always obliged. I'm sorry he is gone, but glad he was able to take control of the process. My condolences to you, Pat, and to all of his other blogfriends.

PI said...

Queenie: I'm glad you knew him. He was especially fond of Shane. He'll be missed by many people all over the world.
By one of those strange quirks of fate when his blog went haywire his profile ended with just one 'blogs I follow' - mine. I know it was probably an accident but it gave me a warm feeling. Thoroughly undeserved.

apprentice said...

He sounds a lovely man, who knew how to love and live.

Shane said...

You write a neat pile of words. It pleases me, and I think it would amuse him, that some of his regular phrases have so readily been picked up by others. There's a big compliment in that. Where those phrases are used erroneously, then I guess it's a case, as scientists say, of too bad.

Tisha said...

He was the best of men, the most wonderful blogger, and I dare say my special friend. He visited us twice and stayed a few days each time. The kids called him Gramp Gene.
What can't be said about him is felt in the sighs, the laughs, and the tears....
I miss him.

PI said...

Anna: absolutely spot on:)

Shane: thank you. I wonder if he realised that his last post would be a picture of a butt crack. I suspect he did. So it goes.

Tisha: what great memories you must have. He had the ability to make one feel special and though I never met him he was very real to me. Thank you for dropping by.

David said...

wow
sorry to lose Old Horsetail snake.
I am glad his writing is preserved.

David said...

hi thanks for that
one of the letters in OHS blog address is wrong, so you may wish to edit it, God bless you

PI said...

David: bless you for pointing that out - all fixed now:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

My sympathies to those close to him.