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Final good-bye to Chet

Today is the funeral for Chet Krause in Iola, Wis.

It will be held at 2 o’clock this afternoon at the Iola-Scandinavia High School, which is the largest venue in this town of 1,300.

I expect many people will be there to pay their last respects. I will be.

There are businesses on Main Street that will close for all or part of the afternoon.

There have been a lot of good memories shared among those of us who knew him this week. But sadness and grief can do strange things to the mind.

I had an interview about Chet yesterday by telephone. I was happy to do it.

I rattled off many of the highlights of his 92 years on earth. His life and publishing career had many.

Yet when the inevitable question of what my favorite anecdote about him is, my mind went blank.

I started talking about how my mind works. In this instance I should have said how my mind didn’t work. But I didn’t.

There was no escape.

I was like a deer in headlights.

Nothing.

Summarizing an association that lasted 38 years both at work and in community projects might be difficult. But coming up with nothing at a critical moment is embarrassing.

I guess that’s why I am a writer.

The file drawers of my memory are neatly organized to be opened as my fingers type.

I was on the telephone yesterday. My fingers were not typing. They were idle.

My mind was temporarily frozen. I guess it was idle, too.

Chet meant a great deal to me. I will miss him. I have fond memories.

Perhaps I will be better able to share them at some point in the future.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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