My Uncle Bill

My Uncle Bill: He died yesterday after living on earth for four score and eleven years Although the world does not know it, it is is a better place because he visited it. He died the same way he lived; making his own decisions after consulting with his best friend and buddy, his wife, my Aunt Margaret.

My Uncle Bill: His life was rich with love and he shared it with Margaret, who kept him in line when needed. They lived by the term "family values" before it became a popular saying for the politically right leaning citizens who stole it as their battle cry and changed its meaning. My Aunt and Uncle's greatest joys and sorrows centered around their children Barbara, Bill and JoAnne.

My Uncle Bill: It seemed to me that he did everything with Aunt Margaret. They walked together, played golf and bowling together, cheered on their athletically talented son and daughters together and just soaked up life together. They both worked in the auto factories and were proud members of the U.A.W. My guess is if they were regular readers of this blog there would be much they disagreed with, but overall they would be proud of me. My Uncle Bill and I would enjoy a few beers and some good conversation about some of the views I express. Actually, some of the discussions would be more like lectures from him than discussions. I love my Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret and I am a better person for knowing them.

My Uncle Bill:: He lived of modest means and he enjoyed life to the fullest. I have fond memories of his family coming over to visit on Sunday afternoons eating sandwiches, drinking beer and taking on my older cousins from Minnesota in horseshoes. It was the "young bucks" versus the wise "old farts" from Flint, Michigan in the "world championship" of horseshoes.They started playing in the afternoon and finished around 2 A.M. They played horseshoes at night before "night baseball" was popular. They would extend the game at dusk by putting the tin foil from their cigarette packs on the top of the horseshoe posts. Later, around six beers later, my Dad would wire the pits with lights using two long extension cords from the garage. It was a tournament of champions and it was not Wheaties that was providing the nourishment. After finishing the wiring, my Dad would do a jig and yell "Let the games continue". Most of the time my Dad and Uncle Bill would win.

Uncle Bill, I have had a good life and am blessed with two fine boys who I love dearly. One of my biggest regrets is allowing myself to get too far away from my roots including my Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret.. They define what life and America is all about; being family and sharing life. In my case I am not sure why I drifted away from my roots, but I regret it. I went to college and afterwards moved to the Detroit area and did not do a good job of staying in touch. I have no one to blame but myself; however, I know I am a better person because of having the opportunity of sharing life with my parents and extended family members like my Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret.

My Uncle Bill:  Tomorrow I am going to find a six pack of Stroh's and share it with my Dad, Uncle Bill and my sons.

Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret, thank you for being you..