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Friday, July 15, 2016

"Uncle Don"

 Our Uncle Don, died yesterday. He had been a U.S. Paratrooper as a young man. A rookie had “stolen his air” and he fell breaking “damn near every bone in my body.” They told him he’d probably never walk right again. After quite some time in the hospital he lumbered through another 62 or so years … stomped really, sort of like a friendly gorilla.

 He and eleven siblings were raised in rural S.C. You might say the five boys were scrappy. Nobody wanted to take on Don though.

 He was passionate about fishing, boxing, golf and family and was definitely not adverse to a friendly wager. He loved to laugh. He had a way of teasing you that would make you feel special … like he was letting you into this man club he was a charter member of.

“Bubba, I CAN lend you some money for some new blue jeans if you'd like. Looks like you could use it.” (big grin here)

 There’s like a jillion cousins. He cut all our hair for years and wouldn’t take a dime. You couldn’t force it on him. I hid it on his counter one time. Couple of days later, Dad holds out the cash,

“You ougta know he’s not gonna take it, Bo.”

 I went to visit him toward the end. I’m grateful I beat hospice. I was able to say goodbye.

  “I’ve got too many things wrong, Scotty,” he whispered.

  “As long as my little wife is taken care of, I’d just as soon drift away now.”

 “I knew he was in pain. No way he’s going to complain though.”

 We made sure he was the first to cut our son’s hair too. They’ve always asked about him now and then. You gotta love Uncle Don.  He has a place on our wall at home. I’m glad.

You see, this whole genetic thing’s kind of a trip. When I think about the boys coming into their own I have to figure if they end up being like Uncle Don … I’d be just fine with that. A guy could do a whole lot worse.

Don Hicks … tough, loyal. Truth is … he was sort of a hero to a red headed, freckled boy. Hell … still is.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for that, Scott. He would have approved with that glowing, playful grin of his. He was my favorite uncle. Rest in Peace, sweet Uncle Don.