Charles Guthals passed away a few weeks ago.
I'm going to miss him.
Lots of High Plains folks knew him far better than I did. To me, he was the guy who knew everything about plants and trees and stuff around here.
Back in March The Lady of the House and I were in his store. The Lady of the House was looking for lawn and garden stuff and I was swapping stories with Mr. Guthals.
It was one of those days when a howling wind was roaring outside. The wind was picking up dust and grit and prairie dogs and small pets and sending them eastward. I'm kidding, of course, about the prairie dogs and small pets.
"Have you ever seen anything like this before?" I asked, nodding outside. I think a lot of us wonder if the ferocity of the winds of late are something new.
"Yes," said Mr. Guthals.
I perked my ears up, looking for a sign of something. Maybe the last time it was like this was the 1930s Dust Bowl years. Or maybe the 1950s when the drought was so bad President Eisenhower visited.
"Last time I saw it this bad was about two weeks ago," he said.
Another story he told was of the time he was pulled over by a state trooper.
"He came up and I handed him my paperwork and driver's license," said Mr. Guthals. "Then he turns around comes back up to my window and says, 'Are you the Guthals with the tree nursery in Clovis?' I said I was and he says, 'I have this tree that isn't doing so well …'
"We talked and in the end he let me off with just a warning."
"And now he's gone," I said sadly as we drove past his family business.
"Just like that," said The Lady of the House.
Grant McGee is a long-time broadcaster and former truck driver who rides bicycles and likes to talk about his many adventures on the road of life.
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