Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Uncle Bob

I have a small family.  My father was an only child and my mother only had a sister, Rustle.  (Rustle's birth name was Mabel, but she hated that name and changed it as an adult to Rustle.  Russell is a surname back in the family tree and I wonder if that had any bearing in her picking Rustle as a new name.)   Aunt Rustle was married to Uncle Bob.  They had two sons, Donovan, and Rob.

Aunt Rustle passed away about 12 years ago.  Yesterday we lost Uncle Bob. 

 Uncle Bob (on right) with his 2 sons Rob (on left) and Donovan (center)

 It's funny, but Uncle Bob was just always in the background of my childhood memories. I remember bits and pieces of the summer I was 5 and I lived with them. My single parent mother couldn't leave me home alone all summer with my older brothers (who were 9 & 11) so on Monday morning she'd drop me off at my Aunt & Uncle's and leave me there until Friday evening. They only lived a few miles from us so I never understood why I couldn't go home every night, but there is probably something I don't know about the entire situation. Anyway, I remember the flow of a 'normal' 1950's family with the husband leaving for work in the morning and coming home at dinner time while the wife remained home.  It was so different from what was happening in my house!  My cousins hadn't arrived yet, so it was just me with my Aunt & Uncle.

I bought my first car from Uncle Bob. A 1961 VW Bug - for which I paid him $200 cash. I didn't even know how to drive a stick shift when I bought it but he kept assuring me it wouldn't be hard to learn. I still drive a stick shift, so I guess he was right.

A story about him that will always remain with me. Bob was a pilot (he was retired from the Air National Guard) and was once in a small plane crash. When the emergency crews arrived they initially thought he had not survived and he heard them say they were not going to worry about him because he was dead. He managed to move enough to alert them that he wasn't dead and they loaded him in the ambulance. On the way to the hospital the ambulance was in an accident!

Jerry & Uncle Bob shared the same birthday.  When I first started dating Jerry and he told me his birth date I didn't believe him.  After all that my Uncle's day - how could anyone else share it?

It had been several years since I'd seen him but I can still hear his chuckle.

Rest in Peace Uncle Bob.  You'll be missed.

1 comment:

Del said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Uncle Bob. We are of an age that pieces of our lives keep chipping away. I miss my Aunt Dorothy, the last of her generation, who died two years ago. I hardly ever saw her, but I knew she was there and she knew I was here. Now the connection is gone and I am of the "older generation". Sigh.