For a couple of weeks, I had been mulling over how to capture the late David Joseph Oram's spirit in the pages of the Skaneateles Press. I had wondered how I could do this giant of a man, in a pint-sized package, justice. Oram lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 30 at the age of 50.
Last Sunday morning it had warmed up to 25 degrees, so I went out to sit on the porch, and into my viewscape flew a giant woodpecker. I believe it was the illusive pileated, a bird I had never been able to see before in nature. I watched it bang its long beak against Doc Nichols' old chestnut tree and thought "ouch!" But then I remembered that this was how God created the woodpecker; that this was its nature. And I immediately thought of Davey Oram, a man who followed his instincts truly on a path less traveled. A man who walked through his life one foot in front of the other, mostly outdoors, as the Indians had wandered through these parts long before the town and village of Skaneateles became incorporated.
It's safe to say that the herd caught a breather when Davey Oram passed away. Skaneateles' Jim Lanning said, "All of us hunters were envious, as Oram pulled the biggest bucks out of the woods each year, and probably more fish out of the lake than anyone else."
Lanning credits Davey with most of the deer he's taken out of the woods. He said Oram told him that the deer walk behind you, so it is important to stop and turn around and watch where you've been.
When Lanning was 10 years old, he met Oram while fishing in the outlet.
"Davey was there harassing me for having a string of little fish," he said.