Sunday, March 06, 2005

Farewell Uncle John

My uncle John passed away. It was an unexpected shock to me. He was young, early 50s, so I find it difficult to understand. I will always remember him as the nutty guy he was. He was always a child at heart. I can't ever remember him not making me laugh. Through all the years I spent around him he was a good source of entertainment.

Some good uncle John stories:

As my mother would say " He's the person I know that has a built in compass or radar." She told me of the time that a bunch of my aunts and uncles went to the Indy500 one summer. Everyone left straight after work to set up camp. Uncle John had to work the afternoon and mentioned he would catch up with everyone later that night. (Mind you Indy was about a 4 hour drive from where I grew up in Ohio.) When my father indicated that the campsite would be very large and considering the sites were not marked off that it would be nearly impossible to locate the family late at night. John just shrugged it off and indicated that he'd find them and not to worry. Sure enough he showed up pretty much on time just like he knew where they were camping all along.
And here's the other odd/funny thing. Mom says that just to freak out people at the Indy500 he washed out a rubbing alcohol bottle filled it with vodka or another form of clear alcohol. He would take shots from it through the day as he walked around.

Uncle John had a way about him. He was able to connect with people extremely well. Because he was that sort of guy he could become instant buddies with any 'ol person off the street. And it was not uncommon for him to hang out with well known bands. Mostly he came across the normal folks like me and would become invited to all sorts of places, mostly people's homes. He was a master at conversation, I believe some of my family members will disagree but, really if they had seen how he would interact with strangers they too would see the skills I noticed in him.

The psychedelic hot dog incident involved one very unusual hotdog. Well not really that unusual but pretty odd. Since uncle John could converse well with anyone he managed to use his skills to collaborate with a manager at the local Dairy Queen one hot summer day on a minor product invention. John had struck up conversation with the manger about hot dogs. You see John was a BIG baseball (Reds) fan and loved ballpark hot dogs. Uncle John is a food lover so he was trying to find a good replacement for the ballpark dog craving he had that day. (I was watching my cousins swim that day) He spent an hour with this manager coming up with as best a duplicate they could with their resources at Dairy Queen. When he happened to return home from the Dairy Queen he presented his hotdog and proceeded to tell me his story and how he went in the back and he helped put together a ballpark dog. It looked, well, terrible. I would not have even touched it let alone consider eating it. It had all sorts of toppings: chili, chopped onion, jalapeno peppers, mustard, ketchup and relish. The relish was what frightened me. It was fluorescent green, the brightest bizarre green I have ever seen. Definitely something to be wary of, particularly eating. The pepper looked a little odd too, mostly due to being canned I hope. So he ate it and was very pleased. However about an hour later he was experiencing an upset stomach. I wondered why?

Uncle John was the only person I knew that would eat chili and ice cream together. Not one after another. When I mean together I mean in the same bowl at the same time, a bite of chili and ice cream. Sometimes he would use grape jelly if ice cream was not available.

Other weird food things:
peanu tbutter-pickle sandwich
banana-miracle whip sandwich

He was an odd and funny man that dearly loved his family and friends. He will be missed. Farewell uncle John. May you find the peace and love you deserve.

1 comment :

Mom said...

He use to pour kool-aid or whatever kind of juice they had into his coffee.Yuk!