Tuesday, April 20, 2021



I never knew that his first name was Joseph. I always knew him as Hal.


Hal Trent is still my friend. He went to Rogersville City School, in grade school. He and I became friends in high school, at the Rogersville High School (which is now the Rogersville Middle School). In high school, we had a few classes together. He and I became friends. I remember many details from those years. Hal was a good friend. He was born on 3/18/1960. I was born on 7/17/1960.

After high school graduation, in 1978, we went our separate ways. I graduated from college. I proposed marriage, and Mrs. Appalachian Irishman accepted. We moved to Missouri (1986 – 1992). Later, we moved to Moscow, Russia (1994 – 1999). Hal stayed in my hometown of Rogersville, Tennessee. That was good for him.

At some point, as I recall, Hal and I reconnected, in the late 1990's. He had a business in the old Raley-Vaughn Motor Company building, which had been turned into a mall with various businesses. (It's now the main location of the First Community Bank.) I think that we reconnected, when I stopped by, during a four-to-six-week furlough from Russia.

After we returned from Russia, I met Hal a few times. We saw each other at our high school reunion, on 4/13/2012, as I recall. Afterward, we saw each other a few times, when his wife, Kathy, and he were selling produce, at fall festivals in Bean Station and Rogersville, Tennessee.

Hal, aside from aging as we all do, was still the same person that he was in high school. He had wisdom, wit, and a great sense of humor. He was a man of God.

Hal left this world to go home, on 4/17/2021, Saturday. He was 61. Christian-Sells Funeral Home has Hal's obituary. The visitation and funeral are in a few minutes, later today. The drive is 1.25 hours, one-way. I had thought about driving. I wish that I could have. Yesterday, I wrote the following on Hal's tribute wall:

Marion W. Ferrell: my heartfelt prayers to Hal's family and friends. Hal and I graduated high school in the same class. In the 1990s, I saw him again. I saw him a few times, when Kathy and he were selling great Winesap apples, in Bean Station or Rogersville, during the annual festivals. I will write an article, on my website,, in a day or so. Hal, my friend, I hiked House Mt. #178 yesterday for you. You are Home. We, here, will join you at Home! Won't it be great at that heavenly high school reunion? It will be!


I wish that time and distance had allowed Hal and me to see each other more often. I think the same for other friends, whom I haven't seen in a while.

On one of these great days, time and distance will be swallowed up into everlasting togetherness. Will it not be wonderful then? Hal has togetherness with so many, whom he has joined at Home. May we all go Home soon, dear Lord! Fly those wings, Hal!

By the way, I hiked House Mountain #178, on 4/18/2021, Sunday, for Hal. I'll have another article on that hike in a few days.

No comments: