Monday, April 11, 2011

About Uncle Curley

well, it sure was interesting last night.  Tornados jumping all around my part of the world.  Fortunately they jumped by me.  Not like I didn't give them fair chance. Round about 6 o'clock the sirens went off, the sky got very BLACK and all the TV stations were beeeping and huumming and radar flashing and what-not and what-wonder!  Oh the skies were lit with lightning flashes and the wind was blowing like a two bit whore in a lumber camp on pay day!!!  Well, they say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place and seeing as I have never been struck once, least of all twice, I wrapped up all illogic I could and trucked down to Obli'sfor a beer.  Well, two,maybe three, but if you have to count, just leave it at one is what I say.  So Jessie is tending the polished plank and her and I go out and have a smoke and check out the rolling clouds.  Now the winds are gusty and she is a cute young thing wearing this cute young sun dress thing and I have to advise her to get a little duct tape to hold everything down or I'm going to forget how old I am and how old she ain't and just might ask her out on a date if she don't.  Which makes her laugh. "Jim, I only go OUT on dates till  after 9 o'clock and everyone knows that's past your bed time!" WELL!!! I was real insulted for about as long as it took us to walk back inside and get another beer.

Turns out the tornado did hit, about twenty miles north.  Another maybe fifty miles further up.  Have not heard much more about the storms, yet.  I have seen a few tornados before, and remember the one in 2001 that ripped the shit out of Country Bob's place west of town.  Did a lotta chain saw work after that one. Fact is, after he died last year there was still about ten years of firewood left.  Storms are like that... the big ones, the 'Oh, My God' ones,  you tend to remember.  My divorce was quite a storm... if I remember.  And there still is a whole buncha firewood left over from that one..

Well, anyway, about Uncle Curley.  His funeral is tomorrow.  Would have been a hundred years old this coming December.  He liked his 'year-marks'. Remembered all of them. He married my mother's older sister seventy five years ago and they had 73 pretty decent years before she passed away a couple of years ago.  That was about when he finally gave up his apartment and moved into an assisted living community.  Now old Curley was not a typical 'Old" guy.  Last time I saw him he would tell how he still walked a mile around the home, sometimes two, "in good weather". He remembered EVERYTHING!! And did not mind telling
you, often to your dismay.  But the thing with Curley is he never mentioned anything unpleasant, or at least never talked about it.  His stories were more like the time he went goose hunting, back in 54, and what the weather was like then, who he was with, what kind of booze they were sipping from pint bottles, and precisely what time of the early dawn it was when that big Canadian honker came gliding out of the mist and how he led it just so,  bagged it on the first shot.  He would then go on to tell you what kind of vegetables that they served when they cooked that sucker up. Also, who was sitting at the table when to help  eat it, how he knew them, how old they were then, and what has happened to them since the occasion of that glorious feast.  Of course that would also launch him into the story of the mallard some one gave him back in 62 and how they didn't get all the pellets out and he chipped a tooth on one and how he had to go to a dentist to get it fixed and how that same dentist had been on Iwo Jima and had just missed being in that famous flag raising photo.  That was Curley.

He and my Aunt Cecelia only had one daughter and when that daughter's husband split and left that daughter with five little kids, why it was Curley and Ceil that raised those grand children. And those expanded to great-great grandchildren.... and even a couple of great-great-greats.  They held off the funeral for a week to make sure they could all show up.  And they will.  When they still had an apartment there used to be a list on the refrigerator... reminding them of which kid would show up which day to take them to church, the doctor, the store, the birthday party... the whatever. And Curley remembered all the birthdays, graduations, accomplishments, wedding dates...... you never wanted to ask to much about any of it cause the answers could last forever.
So, anyways, the Ex and I are going to the funeral tomorrow.  Cheryl always like Curley.  And I did too. He was great. See, it didn't matter to him how bad a storm was for Curley, in his opinion, "cause see, Jimmy, that's how we get rainbows!"

Well, the news is shitty these days, Liars and Cheats in politics, climate change, bad storms, pollution, discrimination, racism.... just plain old nastiness. I need to think a little more about Curley.... all those long stories, and how each one was wrapped with chuckles, eye twinkles, grins.... and a lotta love.

oh,  about that goose feast..... they had yams, mashed potatoes, wild rice, gravy and creamed peas. He told me so...... a few times.


tnlib said...

Uncle Curley sounds like he was a lovely and dear man. I'm so sorry for you and the rest of your large klan. I'm sure you will cherish his memories and live to tell and retell them.

Sherry said...

Thanks Jim for a really lovely story. Your family was lucky to have had an Uncle Curley. Glad the weather left ya alone. Same here.

okjimm said...

TN... thanks. Yes, he was a great guy.
All my parents siblings are gone. I still have a couple of my uncles spouses living... one is 98 and the other 97, but Ralph was the only one that maintained an incredible amount of mental acuity. There will be some stories tomorrow.

Sherry, whew... Saturday night that was all I saw on the weather channel, Iowa getting blasted! Glad you guys are ok! ;)

Sue said...

Another lovely post! Funerals are sucky, I hate them. Uncle Curley sounds like he lived a full and GOOD life. That says alot about a man when he remembers all the special occasions in the family. What a treasure, and now a chest full of wonderful memories. Have a few beers tomorrow for good 'Ole Uncle Curley!

What's up with all the tornadies across the land this spring? Climate change is real!

okjimm said...

Sue... he was a great guy!!!

Climate Change!? Why that is just a fabrication of tree hugging socialist commie punks!

Beach Bum said...

We need more people like Curley in this day and age! Deepest sympathy to you and the rest of the clan.

okjimm said...

Dear Bum.... thanks!

susan said...

Your Uncle Curley sounds much like my Dad. I know you're going to miss him and I'm sorry for that.

okjimm said...

Susan...He was something else. Always wore a tie sunday mornings....kept his mustache trim..... and told great stories. Ya I will miss him.

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