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Uncle Elwood

December 18, 2007

SWMBO’s uncle passed away Sunday morning. Married to SWMBO’s maternal aunt, I was introduced to Uncle Elwood some thirty years ago while dating SWMBO and over the years have only spent a small amount of time with him; family get-together at Christmas or Thanksgiving, occasionally at other times, but rarely saw him otherwise. There was one lunch we had together when I was in the area for some reason or other and dropped by his barbershop to say hello, but not much else. Yet, even with the small amount of time together, Uncle Elwood always impressed me.

The thing that made me decide to write this was thinking about the commercial from the Marines, who are looking for “A Few Good Men.” Now, I have all the respect in the world for those who serve in the military. They do something most of us either can’t or don’t, and in the world we live in they are necessary. But I couldn’t help thinking about Uncle Elwood. Uncle Elwood was a kind and gentle man. I never saw him angry and from all reports it wasn’t because I just missed those times – they didn’t exist. I heard someone say at his visitation last night that they, who spent much more time with Uncle Elwood, felt the same. Married for over fifty years, he ran a barbershop in a small town until he retired for health reasons a few years ago. During his working years, someone else told me, Uncle Elwood treated everyone who came into his barbershop the same, no matter their “station” in life. Young, old, grungy or well kempt, they were greeted with a smile and made to feel welcome. And, as to the visitation last night, over the years Uncle Elwood touched a lot of people. The line at the funeral home was over an hour deep from five o’clock to the time we left at about eight; kind and gentle will make friends of everyone.

So, back to the Marine commercial, and what crossed my mind. Even though Uncle Elwood served in the military during the Korean conflict, I can’t help but think if the world was made up completely of good men like Uncle Elwood, we wouldn’t even need the ones who go to war. Bless you Uncle Elwood; as I get ready this morning to head out to your funeral, I know if I can just emulate some of your traits then perhaps I will see you again one day.

From → Ramblings

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