Roy is gone. We’ve been friends for years and I just learned of his passing. He slipped away quietly in Linden, Texas on December 26 after a long and weary eighty eight years. 
I can hardly believe it. Roy is gone.
Roy Bale came into this world in 1931 in East Texas. He was born into a large family struggling to make ends meet in rough times; the “dirty thirties he called them. 
As a youngster he worked in the cotton fields with his family. That’s why in more recent years I joked with him about being an old cotton picker.
I’ll miss you Roy.
While he was still a young child his dad got a chance at a good steady job working for the railroad out west. 
So the family moved lock, stock and barrel from the East Texas cotton fields to the high desert of Imlay in Northern Nevada.
That’s where Roy grew up and lived the best and happiest days of his life hanging around the railyard, delivering newspapers in Lovelock, riding his horse through the desert and flirting with pretty girls.
Peggy Jones wrote a piece for the Lovelock Review-Miner back a few months ago all about Roy and his life’s adventures resembling that of a Huckleberry Fin story. 
It had to do with his being torn between two separate distant locations of America, East Texas and Northern Nevada, his deep love for friends and family and a brief story of his long eventful life.
But Roy was quite a gifted storyteller himself also. His memory was clear and he possessed a unique talent of recalling and recording in written word form some of the many special events of his dramatic life. 
Roy wrote a weekly opinion column for Winnemucca Publishing. He titled it “Postcards from Texas”. It ran for many years and had quite a following.
However, it was not opinion about current events, politics and such. It was manly storytelling about his experiences and impressions of hard times, growing up in the post war days, young romance, life in the desert, cottonfields, family, friends and trains.
Roy was a salt of the earth, honest, humble fellow. By reading his weekly articles you could feel and envision what he lived through. 
He was a storyteller who wrote the raw, real account of his life and the lives of those whose paths he crossed in weekly issues.
You couldn’t help but like Roy Bale.
His stories were not by any means composed of perfect grammar, spelling and punctuation. But they were so real and straight forward. They seemed to resonate and touch people where they lived.
Roy had a great many friends and a large extended family. His love, caring and devotion for them was truly special. He ever so dearly loved his mom, many sisters and older brother. 
He was the last one remaining, the end of the immediate family line still hanging on as he relayed his many tales.
He was exceptional in keeping in touch with all his friends and especially his scattered family, half living in Nevada and the remainder in Texas. 
I met Roy in person a couple of times. We got together for lunch at the Lovelock senior center. We hit it off right away. We shared a fascination for trains and a love of the quiet, peaceful, scenic Nevada Desert.
Roy had been writing his articles from Texas and sending them on to Winnemucca Publishing for a few years about the time I moved to Lovelock. I submitted a couple of articles myself and shortly thereafter he contacted me. 
Rather than consider me an unwelcome competitor Roy welcomed, complemented and liked my bit of scribble. He encouraged me to continue writing “Desert Town Reflections”. And I have.
We have kept in touch off and on through the years. He talked about and so much wanted to drive all across the country once more to visit all his loved ones. But his failing health impeded his doing so in recent years. 
I had not heard from Roy in a while so I sent him an email for Christmas. But there was no response. Being concerned I looked him up via computer and found out as I’d feared that he had gone on to rejoin his dearly departed loving family.
Farewell old pal. 
Happy trails Roy.
Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com