Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Uncle Bill

Is it just me, or does everyone have, somewhere in his/her past, or even present, an Uncle Bill?

Almost everyone I meet, if I say something about "Uncle Bill", I get that "Oh, I had/have an Uncle Bill!"

Almost to a man, they are tough old birds.

My husband's was. My husband's Uncle Bill started smoking when he was about 5-6 years old. Seriously, back when he was a child, in the hills of Arkansas, that was not uncommon. He worked hard all of his life, mostly as a truck driver. He was well off in his older years, because he worked hard and saved his money.

Then, one morning, when he was about 74 years old, he woke up, reached for his first morning cigarette, hesitated, and looked over at his wife. "How much do we pay for these d****d things now?" he asked.

She answered "$2.50 a pack," as that was the price then.

"That's too much!" he yelled, as he crumpled the whole pack and threw it in the trash. He never smoked again, and lived another 10+ years.

My own Uncle Bill smoked, and worked hard building a pest control business, which his son now owns and operates.

He was diagnosed with COPD and told, "Any day now" by the doctors, 12 years ago. His day came last Friday.

An Uncle Bill is an amazing person to have had in your past. Mine was. A veteran of the US Navy who served during WWII, he was 86, and had been married to Aunt Alice for 59 years.

Rest in Peace, Uncle Bill.

Today is:

Birth of the Bab -- Baha'i

Change Your Oil Day

Feast of No Excuse For A Feast

Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth -- Sikh

International Juan Valdez Appreciation Day (As we sip our morning wake up brew, let's remember the hardy souls who pick the beans for us!)

Kenyatta Day, Kenya

Miss American Rose Day

National Brandied Fruit Day

Revolution Day, Guatemala

St. Conrad Ferrini's Day (patron of universities)

Birthdays Today:

Dann Gillen, 1967
Viggo Mortensen, 1958
Danny Boyle, 1956
Tom Petty, 1950
Jery Orback, 1935
Mickey Mantle, 1931
Art Buchwald, 1925
Fayard Nicholas, 1914
Bela Lugosi, 1882
Charles Ives, 1874
Arthur Rimbaud, 1854
Christopher Wren, 1632

Today in History:

The first Crusaders arrive at Antioch, 1097
Battle of sekigahara sets Tokugawa clan as Japan's Shoguns, 1600
Maria Theresa of Habsburg becomes ruler of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, 1740
US Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase, 1803
First Edition of London Sunday Times, 1822
Lincoln formally establishes Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the US, on the 4th Thursday of November each year, 1864
P.T. Barnum Hippodrome featuring "The Greatest Show on Earth" opens in NYC, 1873
The first Negro League World Series is held, the KC Monarchs shut out the Hilldales, 5-0, 1924

1 comment:

  1. My sympathies to you and Aunt Alice. 59 years is a long time - I know she misses him so.


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