Monday, October 01, 2012

Ned Nelsen - A Good Man

Ned's 90th
 1920 - 2012
Picture courtesy of J. Lee Braly
 Of Ned his family wrote: Ned was born in 1920 on a farm in Neely, Nebraska; started his education in a one-room schoolhouse; and loved attending reunions of his high school class.  Following service in WWII in New Guinea, Ned attended USC on the GI Bill and received both his undergraduate and law degrees.  He was a prominent criminal defense and family law attorney here in Los Angeles beginning in the 1950s.  Ned was featured in the book “A Death in California” which later became a television movie with Cheryl Ladd.  Ned’s only complaint about the mini-series was that he thought Robert Redford should have played him.  Ned was a member of Rancheros; an avid hunter who shot birds in Montana and wild game in Africa; and a pilot who flew with friends such as ace airman Bob Hoover.  Ned was a tall and elegant gentleman, dapper in his dress and particular about manners and grammar.  He was a gourmet chef at home and regularly dined at classic Los Angeles restaurants such as Perino’s and Chasen’s.  And he made the best Ramos Fizz on the planet, a recipe he somewhat reluctantly taught.

Over the last three years I have been knowing that the moment would come when I would want to write and express sentiments which only mature and find expression at times like this. Until the instant when their appropriateness is confirmed, not till then does one put "pen to paper" or dare to verbally express their content.  But now is the time.  Ned was a fine man, a devoted man, a good man, and a man whose interrupted family life was shattered when the wife he cared so much for met her premature demise. That life was rekindled with the infectious enthusiasm for living which he shared with a new bride.  The Lord knows they both took what came by the horns. We might spend time in remorse for his passing, but in reality this is a time to celebrate the accomplishments and the achievements of a full life.  Not to acknowledge that I loved Ned would be a failing.  The Christmas goose he would tuck in the back of my car, the Macallan well aged and a deep dram, and the dry wit.  I have been privileged to serve the Man so many have loved, and I pray that the sweetest memories remain to soften the loss they must feel at this time.

A Good Man

It takes a lot of time before you really know a man,
A lot of hours of talking and watching how he stands
Upon the things that matter
And the way that he reacts
To the challenges that come his way,
It’s then you know the facts.

You really never get to know someone in just a day,
It takes an awful lot of time before you guess the way
They’ll respond when under pressure
Or when something’s done that’s wrong,
And how in private moments
They’ll behave when folks are gone.

You can’t tell how good and loving a man is going to be
Until he kneels and prays for help, and when it counts if he
Will always go the extra mile
And temper all with love,
And be there for you through thick and thin
When push comes to shove.

But if upon reflection looking back through time you find,
That a man you’ve known was always strong and decent warm and kind,
Then you’ve really had a blessing
That few of us can boast
And when tears dry you’ll be clinging
To the memories you love most.

1 comment:

ashok said...

Hi Neil,
Thanks for directing me from to you wonderful blog. This is amazing and I need to visit here more i guess...enjoyed your posts.
Le me also direct you to my blog

This is where you can find most of my artistic expressions...Pls visit and do let me know...Have a great day!