Monday, October 10, 2011
For most of us upon this earth, we grow up around uncles. The brothers to our mom's and dad's who may or may not play an important role in our early childhood development. [Husbands to our aunts are also called uncles, but somehow they seemed not as involved.]
Six uncles were involved in my childhood. Four on my mother's side [Ewen], and two on my father's [Jones]. The picture to the right shows my two uncles on my father's side in their own early school days. Both red headed, uncle Gayle was six (extreme right), and uncle Gene was eight years old. They were attending Hickman Street School, where many of my Jones family had walked the halls. World War II was about to end, and I suspect they had their own struggles during their growing up years.
Uncle Gayle looks a bit disturbed by all this first grade picture taking. That horizontal Jones smile (or frown) is in place. I have had a bad hair day so lets get this over with, he seems to be saying. Uncle Gayle introduced me to scouts and taught me to tie square knots.
Uncle Gene has a little different look. Almost smiling, his hair is carefully combed, and his expression seems confident. Here I am world, make way, he seems to be saying. He was the story teller of our family, and I spent many hours soaking in the verbal acrobatics that made, well Gene, Gene. I was not always sure I could believe every story that was told, but the laughter and joy in the telling covered most of my suspicions. He opened many doors to my childhood imagination. Laughing so hard sometimes, I had to call...Uncle.