Tragedy struck a hard blow in the Sandy Valley community this week. Suffering from a series of health issues that had become unbearably painful, Uncle John Craneman ended his life with a single shotgun blast to the head. The way he carried it out in death was as ingenious as his many unique inventions in life.
Reverend Peacock performed the sad eulogy. Forcefully he stressed the grace of God in salvation while some listeners secretly wondered whether a man who took his life could go to heaven.
Elder Poden Tate, Uncle John's brother-in-law, didn't worry about that as his mind wandered to an ironic incident of years past. Some ten years ago Poden and John had attended the shape note singing convention together in Mineral Falls. As men were wont to do, at dinner-time several of them gathered to chew to fat and spread the news. One pressing piece of news was of a man some of them knew, who had committed suicide. Each shared his opinion on the matter. Uncle John added incredulously, "That'll be the last thing I'll ever do."
...And it was.