Saturday, December 28, 2013

So long, Uncle Bob

My Uncle Bob passed away the other day. I called him Uncle Bob but most people knew him as "Chet", short for Chester, his last name. When I was little, he had this massive model train set-up. It filled his entire garage (you had to duck down and kind of crawl under tables and wires and then pop up into the middle of it to see everything) and had multiple trains running through tunnels in mountains, visiting little villages with cars and people and rolling through miniature acres of farmland. All that attention to detail just blew me away. I hadn't been to Disney World or anything like that so that was the most incredible thing that I knew existed in the world at the time, and my Uncle Bob made that happen. Needless to say, I was in awe of him. I have no doubt that his influence is a huge part of why I love toys and miniature things so much now.
He was also the first funny person I knew. He was a funny, funny cat and he lived that, and I mean all the time. He told funny stories and he loved practical jokes.
I remember the time he told a co-worker at one of the auto shops he worked at during his life that you could make a perfect hard-boiled egg by just putting a raw one in a microwave oven on high for about five minutes. That went as well as you'd expect but the beauty was in the fact that he convinced the guy that the problem was he'd pointed the egg in the wrong direction and got him to do it again.
I had entire conversations with him that consisted of nothing but jokes. He seemed to know all of them. For every one I'd tell, he'd counter with four. It was a serious accomplishment that required work and diligence to hit him with something he hadn't heard before, which he'd acknowledge with a big smile and a "Yep!". That happened about as often as I'd get an A on a report card, and I took more pride in it too. And not just any old jokes; he was always on top of all the current topical jokes. I'm convinced that he was part of the top-secret network that produces jokes about things that happen in the news and circulates them faster than the internet ever dreamed of. I can't tell you how many times he'd hit me with a barage of one liners about something stupid that had made the day's headlines and I'd say, "Uncle Bob, that just happened!". He'd just smile in response. Now that I think about it, he smiled in response to just about everything. I'm going to miss that.

1 comment:

MB said...

I love rereading this. I miss my dad so much. Thanks again Clark.