Friday, April 28, 2017
Finally an uncle I knew! Uncle Gerald lived in a near-by town from Grandma.
Uncle Gerald was older than my father. In fact his oldest daughter was close to the same age as my mother.
I was surprised to learned that Uncle Gerald had a first wife. I thought that Aunt Sophie was the only wife he had. I do not know (yet) what happened to his first wife.
Uncle Gerald and Aunt Sophie had four children. Three were girls. Of course they were quite a bit older than me. One was married and had children near in age to some of my younger siblings.
The other two girls liked to take me to their house for the weekend. They would fuss over me like a live doll. Then on weekends they would take me on their dates. We went to drive-in movies or to the auto races. I saw my first demolition derby with them.
Often my aunt and uncle would come to Grandma's house on Friday. They would all get spiffed up and go out to have fun. I think Uncle Gerald and Aunt Sophie usually went to the bar. My cousins would have dates and go with their dates to whatever was happening for young people at the time.
Like so much of my father's family Uncle Gerald's family was on the selfish side. They thought little of other people's feelings. I know that sounds odd after telling you that they paid a lot of attention to me. But that is the way they were.
When my brother was killed in Viet Nam family began calling my parents to offer sympathies. My father sat up most of the night. Every time the phone rang he would say, "That will be Gerald." Uncle Gerald never called.
In fact Daddy did not hear from him for a couple of years. Aunt Sophie sent a letter telling Daddy that Uncle Gerald had cancer and was not doing well. Oh by the way it was a shame about my brother.
Daddy was so hurt. I was furious. They had hurt my father so bad. The one family member he had been around could not even call to see if he was okay.
All of them are dead now. I had contact with the oldest daughter for a while online. Her children and grandchildren live only a few hours from me. They are doing well.