Today we buried a great man, William Bordovsky; for those of us related, Uncle Willie. He wasn’t a great man because he was wealthy, although he had a wealth of friends. He wasn’t great because he had power, although he was influential beyond what he realized. He wasn’t a king, a politician, or a teacher per say. We know he was great because we had to park on a highway and walk a block to the church for his funeral. We know he was great because there were no more seats in that church. Everyone attending the service knew it was going to be a long one so they were committed to saying goodbye to this great man.
As the casket was carried in, my uncle’s influence was realized. Two generations of men carried him in; two of his grandsons and five of his nephews (a son of each of his siblings, save two). Not one of those men live in Karnes City, each traveled a distance to carry the casket of a beloved uncle and grandfather. Each of them at some point in their life was mentored and taught by this man. He knew a lot. He knew farming and ranching and could fix just about anything. He had integrity and was fair. He extended respect to everyone.
Although he lived several places, he and his family always seemed to make it home to Karnes City. I never knew he lived anywhere else. He had put down roots in Karnes City that were not easily moved.
Memories are funny things, everyone has them but they are all different. To me, Uncle Willie was always a just slightly older version of my dad. That didn’t change today, they buried him in a suit with his cowboy hat and boots….I’ve seen my dad wearing almost the exact “get up” on occasion. His voice sounded so similar to my dad’s voice. He was always calling some kid into check (like my dad). To me, when Uncle Willie was around, everyone had a dad because he was always willing to step in and teach you something, give you some advise or correct you if you needed it.
Community was family. Uncle Willie married Aunt Gladys and they stayed married. They had three daughters and a son. Family was a priority. Although they live in different places, they are a tight-knit group. You can’t teach that so much as you pass it on to your children; that is a legacy.
See, every nephew and grandson needed that extra “fathering” at some point. When you get that, you are willing to travel a great distance to carry a casket.
Who will carry your casket?