Last week's obituary for Bud Hiscock in the Press reminded me of a private joke between us. My brother Sam always called him Buddy because they were about the same age and ran around Skaneateles with the same gang in the summertime.
I followed my brother to the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut as a day student. (The school, in return for paying no town taxes, charged day students about $100 for tuition. Such a deal. Today, day students pay about $25,000, which is about $10,000 less than the boarders pay.)
As I wound my way through school, many of the staff recalled my brother and many called me Sammy, despite the 15-year difference in our ages. Over the last 50 years that I have been a full-time resident of this fair Skaneateles Lake region I was called Sammy by Bud. For many years I responded by calling him Buddy. About 20 years ago, when I passed 50, he suggested that as he was past 60, he thought Bud would do just fine.
He had also gotten rather good at saying, "Sammy, I mean Joe" when our paths crossed around the village, at the Club, and at the Ford garage. I will probably never be called Sammy again.
Bud was a very cheery guy and always had good things to say about most people. I used run into him occasionally at some country hardware store or another. He represented the Oneida Furnace Company. These were the folks who made the big old octopus hot air furnace. It is unique, in that it operated on gravity convection. The heat rose from the top of the furnace through round ducts that went to the interior walls of the rooms. The cold air return grills were at the outside walls. The cold air from the windows fell down the return ducts. And around and around it would go.