Saturday, May 14, 2011

Great Uncle Dave

I was on one of my favorite pastimes, walking my dog in Bulh Farm Park, near my house.
As I enjoyed the wildflowers, I observed one I didn't know. I thought of how to find out. Look up wildflowers on the internet, get a book on wildflowers. We have one downstairs on Your Backyard.
I wished I had been older before my great uncle left this life. Uncle Dave showed up on my parents doorstep one morning and lived with my family for 14 years. I was only 3 when he died after being hit by a car early one morning walking to work. He filled vending machines at a factory in town, twice a day, for being 80 and lame as they called it back then, that was an important job for him. He told my mom, "I have to make sure those men have their snacks."
I remember more the stories my mom told me than actually my experience with him. I had a carnival cane and I followed him using it, because he walked with a cane. This story from my dad's cousin, Becky Ahern's information in the genealogy:
" While Uncle Dave was working as a foreman for one of the furnaces in West Middlesex, Pa, he climbed up a scaffold to do some work and the scaffold broke leaving him fall quite a distance. The result of this accident was a life time of broken bones wired together. The wires would become infected and he would be off work for months at a time. After the accident and about 2 years in the hospital he found a job as a watchman at the Pennsylvania Crossing in West Middlesex, Pa. As a child, I only knew my uncle Dave with a limp and problems with his health for the rest of his life. The accident did not keep him from being a super uncle to all the nieces and nephews. He would take them camping, hunting, trapping and fishing every season of the year. He would take me swimming, one day when I went with him, he thought I was following him, but I was coming up for the third time when he got to me in the swimming pool. He would never take me swimming again. I have thought this must have been very difficult for him as he was the one that retrieved my Uncle John from the Shenago River when he drown."
Every time I go the cemetery, I look at the ancestors and think I knew someone who was born in 1884. Uncle Dave was a bachelor. He had a garden in every unclaimed lot in town. He rose early bringing his harvest in for my mom to can, while she had 3 little ones to care for, dresses to iron(because you did that then), meals to prepare and order to maintain. But the vegetables were to take precedence overall.
I thought today, I bet Uncle Dave would have known what that flower was.
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