Graveside memorial service on a cold day

Last Sunday I attended a graveside sevice for my very first boss, David “Scotty” Caplan, former owner of Scotty’s Shell Station at Twelve Corners in the Town of Brighton. I worked for him part-time from age 16 to 22.

Scotty was almost 97 when he passed away. Seventy people came to his burial. When you’re that old and seventy people show up to bury you on a bitter cold February morning, that’s proof you’ve “lived.”

He gave up his pilot’s license at 82. His wife died when he was 93. He was run over by a van when he was 94 – he should have stayed airborne where it was safer. The rabbi said, “He was aged, but not old.”

Scotty was a Jew. Ironically, he gave his Shell Station workers small Christmas presents each year. I remember receiving a pair of gloves.

This past Sunday seventy pairs of eyes watched as they lowered his coffin into the ground. In what the rabbi described as “the Jewish tradition honoring the cycle of life,” we were all invited to throw a shovelful of dirt on his coffin. I was early enough in line to have my dirt bounce off the bare wood of his coffin. A strange feeling it was, burying the man who taught me what “work” was – how to deal with the mechanical part and the people part of the job.

Sorry, Scotty, if that shovelful of dirt didn’t seem like the proper way to say thanks.

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One Comment on “Graveside memorial service on a cold day”

  1. delwin17 Says:

    He would have known my Dad. Stu I am sincerely sorry for your loss. Would that we all could go back in time again to the 50’s, just for one day. Take good care of yourself, Joe

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