Thursday, August 5, 2010

My uncle remembered

The vacation is such a good time to sit down and have my thoughts wander.
This morning I suddenly remembered one of my uncles.
He wasn't a real familymember, but he belonged to the family so long, and we saw him so often, that he was closer than real family.

In the sixties he would visit our house at least twice a week.

He loved eating fish and chips and his wife hated the smell.
So he came at thursday evenings and picked up my father with his wonderful car.
They both went to the best fish and chips shop in town and get the food, whyle my mother and I prepared the dinnertable, made mayonaise or other sauces, prepared dishes with vegetables and waited.

The guy was huge and he needed to sit near the door, while we sat closer together at the other parts of the table.

And then we ate.

The peaceful conversation was broken by him telling us, children, to be kind to our parents, because they were so kind for us.
I think, in a way, he told himself he was grown up, whereas he enjoyed the fish and chips like a small child, sometimes even with his eyes closed.

He enjoyed life and he was able to teach all those around him to do the same.

Smoking wasn't a bad thing in those days.
I collected the wooden boxes of his cigars and glued fabric in and on them and gave them to friends as jewelerry boxes or used them for myself.
the bands were collected in huge albums.
He smoked the cigars, all arturo fuente cigars. Again, with his eyes closed at times, drifted away to better worlds.

We could always see how he felt by the kind of cigar he smoked that time.
During good days he enjoyed the Rothschilds, offering my dad a Cuban Corona he kept in his other pocket.

When the times were not perfect, he smoked the less expensive cigars and offered my father the same one he smoked himself.

As a small child the cigar cutter was the most interesting part of the ritual of smoking. I didn't understand how it worked, so it seemed to be by magic that the tip came of the cigar.
When I was older it seemed careless to throw away tobaccoleaf that came from the other side of the world.

Every sunday my uncle would come and drink a cup of coffee and then take us for a ride in his huge american car.
I've been at places where I would have never been without him.

Often he woukd stop at the wishing well and have me make wishes for all of us, while he sat with my parents on a bench, enjoying the weather, conversation and the cigar of the day.

He was a good man.

How my parents met him has always been a mistery until I googled his name while writing this post.
During WW2 people who were hiding for the germans found a home at his house. So I assume may parents knew him because they all were in the resistance.

Knowing this makes the way I feel about him much more real.
Indeed, he was a remarkable man.


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