Well I’m sad and sorry to say that the hunting fraternity has lost another of their tried and true “old timers!” Ninety four year old George W. Millhouse passed away last Friday, due to complications from pneumonia.
I’ve know George his wife Albena, and their three children Connie, Rodney, and Sharon since I was a preteen, living in the same neighborhood. The Millhouse family would invite all the neighborhood kids to various parties they would have at their house. Halloween, birthdays, and square dance parties are all stored away in my memory storehouse. George and his wife were accomplished square dancers, and it was a real treat having them try and teach a bunch of 11,12,and 13 year old’s how to “promenade home!” Yes that was a time when neighborhoods were just that-neighbors looking out for one another, and actually interacting with each other.
The first picture was taken in Lewiston Michigan during gun deer season. On occasion we (the Ansel’s) would run into the Millhouse hunting party, and then map out a strategy for some well coordinated deer drives. As you see there are “no” deer in the picture. George is in the background hanging on the door (right side.) That’s his son in law Chuck Marlow in front of him (gun in air) and his son Rod kneeling to the left. I don’t know why we were all smiles, as George and I had both unloaded on a beautiful 10 pointer, and I suspect he died of old age, as we sure never did him any harm! After we missed the 10 point, a really nice eight point let us walk by him, and then bolted after we had passed right by his bed. We never got a shot off. Hey you can’t get them all! Even if we didn’t hang a ton of meat on the buck pole, we had fun. A mid-day visit to Tally’s for a “Tally’s burger” fries and a coke always brightened the day, as we embellished our deer stories.
The second picture is of George, and his bow shot buck, that he took in Southern Michigan while hunting with his son Rod. George and Rodney were not only father and son, but best hunting buddies as well. I can’t think of a more perfect match than to have your dad be your mentor, guide, and friend while tromping through the hills and dales of Michigan. In Georges later years it was Rod who did the planning and leg work in order to put George on the deer. Those were good times, and when a deer was hung it was just icing on the cake for the Millhouse crew.
I recently read a report that the ranks of hunters is diminishing quite rapidly. Those of us who had a George, or a Norm (my dad) in their lives, owe it to them to honor the heritage that they left us. We can do that by making it a goal to bring a new hunter into the “fold” this hunting season. The new Michigan ” youth mentor” program makes it so easy to introduce a youngster to the great outdoors. I hope that those of you who read this will consider honoring the memories of those that have went before us. Rodney and his brother-in-law Chuck, along with the six Ansel brothers, wouldn’t trade those wonderful hunting memories for a million dollars (or a million “bucks!)
Rest in peace George. Many from the old neighborhood came to the funeral home to honor George and the life he lived. Connie, Sharon, and Rodney you have some great memories to hang onto. Those are priceless. Bill, Chuck, and Roxanne you also, along with the grandkids, are blessed with past memories of George and Albena. I personally thank you all for sharing George with me and many others over the years. “Thanks for the memories!”