July 16, 2014

The Vinedresser

His given name was Cleon, but everyone called him Bud, Bud Niver. 

Bud passed away in early July of 2014, and I knew him as one of those rare people who never spoke ill of others, and I never heard others demean him. Some few may have called him stubborn, but if being faithful to his principles and to God made him uncompromising, I consider that a good quality

Bud was a man of the earth, a vineyardist most of his adult life. He was passionate about his grape bearing vines, and that devotion and respect  translated into a love of all nature. It’s no accident that Bud’s property overlooked one of the most majestic views in all the Fingerl Lakes of Upstate New York. Certainly, Bud believed the land he loved, and the vines he cared for were blessed by God. 

People thought Bud was a quiet man. I prefer to think of him as thoughtful, yet when called upon to offer an opinion, he spoke with conviction, knowledge and experience. That experience included defending his country in WWII as a gunner’s mate on the USS Battleship Idaho supporting Marines on Iwo Jima and other islands in the South Pacific.

In the 15th Chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus describes himself as a Vine, and God is the Vinegrower. The branches are all those who claim to be followers of Christ who, without the Vine or the Vinegrower cannot stand and be fruitful. 

Bud Niver took great pride and pleasure in his vineyards. He loved the Vinegrower, and he was a faithful servant of the Vine.  Surely, this fruitful branch, this follower of Christ, this man of God and the earth will be  welcomed to his Eternal Home