News arrives of the passing of Wayne Holmes. When I started my “Favorite Ozarks People” thread a couple of years ago, he was the first person I wrote about.
Wayne was salty, opinionated, rough-edged, and devoted to the things he held dear, which included his countryside, his stories, his family, Shakespeare, and good writing. I quote from Lear above, but his great passion was Othello – he had an alternative theory about the interpretation of the character of Desdemona that he was still working on at the time of his death.
Wayne Holmes was an example to us all of how to live an authentic life. If Wayne didn’t like you, you would know it. And if he liked you, he would go to great lengths to help you out. He valued determination over brilliance, actions over intentions, and honesty over charm.
If you want to read about growing up in the Ozarks, skip the misty-eyed nostalgia pieces, true to their experience as they may be. Read Wayne Holmes’ Rocky Comfort instead.