The Community Gathers for Sherry and Bud

Dec 8, 2013 | 3 comments

Schoolhouse in the Snow by Tucker

Tucker’s Photo: Schoolhouse in the Snow

It was still icy on the roads at the North End yesterday afternoon but, even so, the schoolhouse was full to overflowing.  People came from near and far to say “goodbye” to Sherry Goulter and to give Bud a hug.  All eighty folding chairs were put to use and still there were many folks standing around the edges.  If Oysterville had a fire marshal, we might have been in trouble.  On the other hand, if Oysterville had a fire marshal, it might well be Bud Goulter!

For many years now – certainly for as many years as some of the attendees have lived here – it has been Bud who has done the interfacing with the world.  It has been Bud who goes for the mail each morning, stopping to exchange the latest news.  It’s been Bud who makes the rounds in his truck, picking up the neighbors’ grass clippings left neatly on the verge for his cows.  Inevitably, he stops to visit with friends as well as strangers along the way, punctuating every conversation with “I can’t hear.”

Full House

Standing Room Only

It was an ‘Oysterville Event’ in the truest sense.  The emcee was “Oysterville Boy” Larry Freshley; Oysterville native Sue Holway read a poem written for the occasion.  There were old-timers and new-comers present; there was lots of laughter and there were tears, as well; and there was food – oh, was there food!  There was even a chicken enchilada casserole arranged for delivery by former residents Carlos and Sharon Montoya Welsh who now live in Mexico.  “Sherry and Bud loved used to love my chicken enchiladas,” Sharon wrote.

Bud Leans In

Bud Listens

We all wondered how much of yesterday’s program Bud could hear.  Several of the speakers joked about that and most of us made sure to find a chance to talk with him “up close and personal.”  I hope someone was recording the ‘formal’ part of the program so he can hear it later – so many memories about Sherry, her never-empty pot of coffee, her years of hard work on the farm, her fostering of young people, her curiosity and interest in a wide variety of topics.

And, of course, interspersed in all the remarks were references to Bud.  Sherry and Bud were definitely a team and it is hard to think or speak of one without the other.  As always at such gatherings, the thought flitted through my head, “Who are these kinds of gatherings for, anyway?  The living or the dead?  Are we here to honor Sherry or to grieve with Bud?”  And, as always about such gatherings I thought, “A little bit of both.”  Or, in this case, a lot of both.


  1. Peter Janke

    It was indeed an event to remember, despite the icy roads and frozen pipes in the kitchen which refused to budge even with three additional space heaters encouraging them to thaw from nine o’clock on. Much love and respect was expressed for Bud and Sherry, dear people who have not always had an easy course through life, and the community gathered as I knew it would. Grateful for your comments, Sydney, and I share your thoughts and feelings from the previous posting too. These cold winter nights (down to 18º last night, someone somewhere saying it was the coldest since 1972) can be killer for the life around us, and we were relieved to see our two black feral cats alive and well this morning. It’s great to have full-timers and their lights and warmth in this often isolated little outpost!

  2. Peter Janke

    Just wanted to thank you for your comments here, Sydney, and in the last posting about lights at night in the village. Sherry’s send-off was indeed a memorable event. Despite the icy roads and freezing temps and frozen pipes in the kitchen and bathroom which failed to yield to three space heaters going full blast since nine that morning, the old schoolhouse was full of people, warmth, love, honor and respect for Sherry and Bud, two Oysterville stalwarts who haven’t always had the easiest course through life. And I agree, how great to have two more full-time residents and their lights and warmth in this often isolated little outpost! These last nights have been so icy and killer-cold (we measured 18º last night) that we look eagerly for our two loyal feral cats each morning to reassure ourselves they are still alive. One of our coldest nights since 1972, I understand, so cold for so long that it leaves one yearning for the relief of rain.

    • sydney

      Despite the cranky internet, Peter, both of your trials at a comment on this blog finally came through! I’ve left them both posted because you expressed somewhat different sentiments in both and I liked everything you said!


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