Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Goodbye Uncle Jack
They held a graveside service for Sally's Uncle Jack today. He died last week at age 86.
This picture, taken circa the late 1950s, shows Jack at the very left. Next to him is his mother, we called her Nany, Jack's wife LaVon, Shirley and Ray, Sally's parents. That's Sally, sitting on the couch far right, holding her baby brother. Jack and LaVon's three kids are on the couch, intermingled with Sally's brothers and sisters.
All the people in the back row are gone. Jack was the last of them.
Jack had an incredible sense of humor and a natural storytelling ability. You gravitated toward Jack at a party because he was so entertaining. Jack had some funny sayings, including one that cracks me up just to think of it. "How was the honeymoon?" "Two pot bellies and a short pud."
Jack told a joke at a family function years ago, and I wish I'd recorded it. But when I remember it I can hear Jack's voice:
"A man goes to a doctor. He's got a big wart on his nose. The doctor says, 'Hmmm. Better lay in bed, rest the wart in a chair. Once an hour rub this ointment on it and call me in the morning.'
"The next morning the man called the doctor. 'So how's it going?' asks the doc. 'Terrible!' says the man. 'Now I'm in the chair and the wart's in the bed!'"
That joke was probably old during the time of Vaudeville, but no matter. They way he told jokes, stupid or not, they were funny.
When Sally and I first got married, 40 years ago, Nany told a story about Jack and Sally's mom, Shirley, when they were little kids. They were mad at their parents so they packed little suitcases and made their way down the sidewalk. They sat on their suitcases for a while, then wandered back home. Nany didn't respond to them, so Jack said to her, "Well, I see you've still got the same old cat."
That was Jack. Even at an early age.
We'll really miss you, Jack.