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Apple Short (K0CEY)
Notes from Apples Service, Hamilton, KS 11/2/00
Apple Short was a BIG man.
People’s first impression of him was almost always the same… ”He’s so big!” And he was—Apple liked to tell people he was 5 foot 16. His height always seemed to elicit a comment from those hearing his name for the first time….”Hmm”, they would say… “You don’t LOOK very Short. Apple was big in other ways as well.
He was big on fun. As an active Ham Radio Operator for 47 years, KøCEY was the envy of other hams for having the Biggest Tower while at Hamilton, the biggest amplifier, and the biggest signal on the band. For those who understand, he’d say 73’s and to some people 88’s. Now CHICKEN EATIN’ YANKEE is a silent key. Later when he moved to Elkhart, he had giant radio towers there as well. When he bought his motorcycle, he had to have the biggest one they made. Apple’s motorcycle and the people who rode with him were a special joy in his life. “Half the wheels—square the risk” he would say of the dangers of riding a two wheeler. A silent addendum of “double the speed” was there somewhere, too. Apple’s D-8 bulldozer was one of his favorite toys. Except for a lucky few, there wasn’t a tree that was safe from Apple and his Cat. And there was never a pond that was too deep or too big that it didn’t need a little more work, as far as he was concerned.
He was big on love. Apple loved his mother. He had lots of love for his wife Jo. He had a lot of love for his kids, Bruce & Carolyn, Brenda & Jim, and Brian & Tony. He had a lot of love for his step kids, Geoff (JEFF) & Kaori (KAW-OH-DEE) , Scott & Trisha, and David. He had a lot of love for his Grandchildren, Jack, Margo, Riley, Ryan, Regan, Maika (MIKE-AH), Destiny and Sho. And though he might not admit it to you, he had a great love for his animals, especially Crazy & Sugar. At the other end of the scale were spiders, trees and stupid people.
He was big on duty. Apple was active in the Elkhart Kiwanis. For many years, he served as Scout Master and Committee chairman in Hamilton Boy Scout Troop 241. He acted as the Law in Hamilton and the surrounding area, serving on the Greenwood County Sheriffs Posse. Even though he hated flying…especially in small planes, he held the rank of Captain in the Civil Air Patrol, and aided in finding lost planes around central and northeast Kansas.
He was big on pride. You could tell by the way Apple walked, and he always advised his sons to “Roll your shoulders back!” He was proud of his country, proud to be a Kansan, proud to be raised in Hamilton, and proud of the Short name. He was especially proud of being able to get people’s attention and surprise them with his unique & extremely loud whistle, too.
He was big on economy. Even though Apple might not have had the biggest bank account, or the biggest house, he always had food on the table, and his kids or his wife can’t name a time they didn’t get what they wanted. He would often say “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”
Apple was big on ability. He invented the apple pot--an oilfield anti-freezing device, and the Apple Stick--a high performance radio antenna. While he was farming, he didn’t use new equipment, but he was able to make his entire farming operation run on welding rod and bailing wire, and later added black electrical tape and Velcro to his supply of things for all purpose repair. He could fix just about anything, and shared his ability, by operating Short’s Commercial Radio and TV in Hamilton for several years, doing lots of work for the white-haired ladies at substantial discounts. Apple was a smart man. He knew much about a lot of things; he could figure out most of the things he didn’t know; or he could usually convince you that he knew things when he didn’t. He was smart too because he knew when things mattered and when they didn’t.
He was big on fresh starts. Apple proved it by the way he lived his life. When it was time to move on, he traded farming for the oil business and Hamilton for Elkhart. When he retired, and began spending more time in Hamilton, one of his fondest fresh starts was the re-kindling of his relationship with his brother Larry and his family, Kay, Luke & Levi.
Apple was born on Halloween 1930, just in time to frighten everyone. He left us this Halloween after making the world a less frightening place for 70 years. When you heard the news about Apple, most of you probably thought, “He can’t be…he’s so active, so busy…” And he was—he was doing exactly what he wanted up until the last hour of his life. Apple loved to tell stories about things that happened or what people said and right now he could be paid no greater tribute than for you to share any of your Apple stories with us.
(MUSIC—“Nothing I Can Do about it now” , Willie Nelson)
Thank you all for coming today. If you have the time and would like to visit, the family will be at the Hamilton Senior Center after the service.
(MUSIC—“Highway man”, “Dark Town Poker Club”)
THE YEARS I REMEMBER
There is the “Big Apple” and more recently the “Little Apple”, but they are not the Apple I knew. How can anyone who is 6’ 4” and over 200 pounds be referred to as Apple? Only his mother knows.
Warham Robert Short, Jr. had a significant influence on my life and I want to share a few of those events with you today. Lots of events took place in Apple’s seventy years but I want to focus on the time and events when I was very close to him. As best my memory serves me the time has to be in the early fifties although as I have thought about it since hearing of his passing, it seems like yesterday.
One of my first memories was going to movies with he and Mona in the 1948 Blue Chevy 4-door sedan. As I think about it now it seemed like every weekend but I am sure it was not because I cannot name one movie we saw.
I remember Apple coming home from college and coming to our home and telling everyone what he was learning. Now that I remember it, I think he learned more in two years of college that I did in ten.
I remember Apple working at his father’s side trying to make a living by farming. I wondered of their relationship but it was always over shadowed by hard work and long hours. I remember that his Dad always planted and harvested the grain while Apple provided the necessary hard labor. When I asked why, I was told that his Dad was the only one who could make straight rows. Even with all his hard work and dedication through all those years, I don’t think he ever earned his father’s respect.
I remember thousands of scoops of wheat as he and I loaded harvested wheat from wagons to the old Chevy truck. There were no augers then and every grain was moved by hand. The fun part was crawling into the cab of the truck all sweaty and driving as fast as we could to Emporia to the grain elevator.
When I look at the huge round bales of hay in the fields today I remember the thousands of bales of hay Apple and I gathered from the fields, placed on rubber tired wagons, and placed very carefully and with order in the barn. The breaks for salt tablets and crème soda at the KT Station were always a great relief. It was there that we bragged of how many hundreds of bales we handled yesterday and were working on today. The highest number I remember was 1500.
I remember the GREEN John Deere “B” he bought new, even though his Dad always was fond of RED. The competition of who had the best tractor was very evident after that. Most of us know that today GREEN rules.
The day he saved me from serious injury will always remain in my mind. We had finished disking a field and I was riding on the draw bar of the “B” and we were heading for the gate in 5th gear with the disk in the non-cutting position. We must have hit a bump because I fell off of the tractor in front of the disk. His quick reactions stopped the tractor quick enough that all I got was one slice across my shoulder. It was many months after this accident that I showed my parents the scar and told them what happened.
The day we were spraying cattle with 2,4-D for insect control is also one I remember. As we were spraying from the back of a truck with a power sprayer we were all in the thick fog of spray. We noticed that the old dog, who had been with us had crawled under a tree and appeared to be dead. We kind of both looked at each other and had an unspoken understanding that we better be concerned for our own welfare. As I learned in my later years it is no wonder that some farmers have a very short life.
On Sundays and other days when he couldn’t farm I remember he and his cousin Leonard building and playing with simple two way radios long before CBs. These interests lead to him pursuing and earning his Ham radio license.
Frequently he was my tennis partner against Mona and Dennis. Although we very seldom won there was always plenty of noise and bickering. Although Mona had a significant influence on how Bruce, Brenda and Brian play tennis I see a lot of Apple in how Bruce and Brian play.
My father never owned a gun. Apple introduced me to guns and hunting by giving me a 22 rifle and telling me to hunt by myself and he might join me someday.
There were no Eagle Scouts in the first years of Hamilton Troop 241 but Apple took us on many camping trips along Willow and Slate Creeks as well as official scout camps. Many times he would borrow early field corn from a farmers field to supplement our evening meals. Try that in Boy Scouts today!!
I remember the days helping Mona and Apple repair the old Short house in preparation for their early married years. We hand dug a well that was witched by my Dad with a forked apple branch. We dug and dug but no water. We finally moved to a new location closer the house and hand dug a cistern. I also remember when Apple and I used a post hole auger and lengths of ¾” pipe and found water east of the Slate creek bridge along the fence line. I think this water source is still being used. Later Mona and Apple raised three children in this home, Bruce, Brenda and Brian.
I could go on and on about what I remember happening during these ten years or so of Apple’s life but I need to let others speak to the rest of his years. Whatever Apple did in those years and those that followed, was always clearly the biggest and best of the time and he let you know it. In closing I firmly believe that Apple had a profound influence on my entire life by what happened during these few years. It is very difficult to put this in a few words but I think stating that he instilled in me a heavy dose of “Middle America work ethic” can best sum it up.
So, goodbye son, brother, brother-in-law, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, farmer, hunter, cattleman, TV guy, Ham, oil patch worker, neighbor, mentor, friend, and APPLE.
Contributed by: Brian L Short (KC0BS)
The KBHRA (Kansas Boar Hog Racers
Association) which meets each evening on 1970
kHz and Sunday mornings on 3940 kHz is
certainly poorer with the loss of Apple.
Although I had known him on the air since
1985, I only met him once, a chance meeting
at this year's Dayton.
One thing is sure, make all the effort to
meet as many ham aquaintances as possible.
RIP, old friend es 73.
- Nate >>
Contributed by: Nate Bargmann (N0NB)
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