The Ring
By Ted Hayman

 

Procrastination is something that seems to come naturally to me. Lorna asked us to send her our favorite memory of Rob. I thought about this many times and just could not get around to putting it down on paper and sending it. Now Don is trying to put to bed this year’s edition of the Hayman Holler and here I am writing this after the deadline.

Robert Hart came into our lives when we lived on Fairview Ridge. He started dating our sister, Lil. When they were married he became our brother-in-law. Somehow this title just does not fit Rob. He was our brother, a member of our family. He was always there when needed, and someone to look up to as a great example.

I do not think anyone could count the number of nights Don, Linda, and I would stay overnight with Rob and Lil when they lived on Tanner’s Run. Lil would stay up with us and play Monopoly until Rob came home, and he would go to bed and we would still be playing. If he ever complained about this, we never knew. He and Lil always enjoyed having us come to visit.

Rob and Dad were the ones that got the family started in camping. One weekend the guys stayed in a cabin up along the Ohio River, just above Great Bend, that belonged to someone Rob knew. Dad and Rob set out a trotline for fishing and we caught a few. I think this may have started the idea to go on the famous camping weekend on the Muskingum River.

Rob had a funny side and liked to pull jokes on people. My first memory of this side of Rob was when we lived in Middleport. It was Halloween and Rob tied a string to a lady’s purse, laid it on the sidewalk, and then he and I hid around the corner with the string in hand. When someone came along and started to pick it up, he would pull the string.

When they lived on Tanner’s Run, Lil was at our house one evening for dinner. Rob went home from work, took a shower, and then came to our house. Lil worried about how he was going to get in their house as she had the key and the house was locked. When she asked him how he got in, Rob said “I ran around and around the house until I was all in.” When Gene complained about Linda always being too hot or too cold, Rob told him maybe he just hadn’t found her thermostat.

There are many such small memories of how Rob touched our lives, but one of my favorites gives us an insight into the way he lived his life. I was at Rob and Lil’s house one day, and Rob and I were out in the front yard talking. There was this big bare dirt ring in the front yard where the kids rode their horse. I asked Rob if it bothered him about this messing up the front yard. He said, “No, after the kids are gone the grass will come back and you will never know it was there.”

Rob was partly right. The ring is gone and the grass is back, but I will always remember it was there, and his answer. In that simple statement Rob revealed who he was, his values, and his priorities. He was not about “show” and material things. He loved his family and his God, and these came first in his life. Rob was a brother, he was loved by all, and a wonderful blessing to our family.