Mom’s sister Greeta and her husband Frank lived in Syracuse, NY. She also had a sister Doris and her husband Larry who lived in Newark Valley, NY. Both families had children who were close to the ages of the children in our family. Greeta and Doris raised their families in one area while our family was always on the move. It was always a special occasion when our families could get together. Grandma’s farm in Winthrop, NY was the place for summer meetings of everyone. In later years our families would visit each other at one home or the other. These visits weren’t really what you would call an adventure, just quality family time. My uncles Frank and Larry received a lot of respect from me.
Uncle Frank was able to visit our family in New York fairly often. He drove a Greyhound bus and would visit when his schedule allowed. If you want to be the most popular kid in the neighborhood, just have your Uncle park his big old Greyhound bus in your front yard. All the kids large and small got to experience the bus. After dark Uncle Frank would turn on the interior lights for us. He would turn on the PA (public address) system and let us talk into the microphone. It was always a special experience when Uncle Frank showed up. During the fall Uncle Frank would bring his shotgun and I would take him small game hunting in the local areas. Our bond, between an uncle and a young nephew, was based on mutual respect and honesty established from quality hours hunting together.
Dad and Uncle Larry had a common bond because they both served in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. Uncle Larry was very outgoing, friendly, and fun to be around. My respect for Uncle Larry came as a result of learning about his war experiences and injuries. Dad explained some of the things experienced by Uncle Larry. They were never forgotten. Having lost my paternal father in World War Two, I had great admiration for people like my step dad and Uncle Larry who survived the war. My relationship with Uncle Larry was never personal like with Uncle Frank, but he was special in my world.
My experiences with Uncles Frank and Larry were very brief………….the memories have been long term.