“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Today, we buried my uncle Roger Vest. His service was held at Grace Baptist Church in Winchester. The funeral procession then made it’s way to Lexington Cemetery. The Fayette County Sheriff did an incredible job getting us through downtown; no easy task on a busy Saturday. It was a beautiful day, with a stiff, warm breeze. A real change from last weekend’s massive snow. The graveside service was short. Roger’s nephews carried his casket to the grave. Mom and dad lead the family in Amazing Grace. The preacher said a few words. Each of Roger’s nieces placed a pink rose on his casket as we made our exit from the tent. I, of course, then went straight to the car for my camera as my Aunt Charlene said her final goodbye.
Someone drew my attention to the billowing black smoke. We all knew right away it was no ordinary fire. In ten minutes time the sky turned black. There were sirens and explosions. Soon, the directors urged us to leave as no one yet knew what was on fire and we were directly under the smoke. It wasn’t until we got to my cousin’s church on Ashland Avenue to share a meal that we learned it was the Blue Grass Stockyards. The seven-acre, seventy year old facility the size of a city block went up quickly. The wind whipped three-alarm fire caught six nearby businesses on fire as well. Slim’s Towing, with a hundred cars in the lot, was the source of the explosions. Despite 120 firefighters, all of it was a total loss. No human lives were lost, but at least twenty cows in the stockyard died. We were sad to see Roger go so suddenly. We were sad to see so many businesses go up in flames, but it sure made for a memorable funeral. Godspeed Roger. Godspeed cattle.