The last few days I have been away, due to a death in the family.
I lost my favorite Uncle on Friday afternoon. I guess you would say he died of old age, cause he sure lived life to it's fullest with no ailments till the end.
I'm not looking for sympathy, just want to tell his story to those who will listen. He is the guy looking down in the bibs, tabacky can between his legs....my dad to his right, I'm the fat guy to his left.
He was a worker at Ford Motor Company but his heart was back on the farm he grew up on. He wasn't born into wealth, but would be considered wealthy if one is measured by good deeds and a love of his family....the measure of a man.
He fought for our country in WW2, earned 4 medals, had 3 of his sons and a son in law do a tour of duty in "Nam" one never returned home. Tonight at his viewing he was in a casket he ordered plans for and helped build, asked to be buried in his bib overalls and a pack of "Beech-Nut" tobacky placed in his hands.
He was 86, chewed tobacco every day and his favorite beer was Carling black label in a bottle.
Uncle Bug's real name is Francis, usually a man with that name is called Frank but not Bug. His nickname was given to him when he was a infant and it stayed with him all his life. It seems that his uncle gave him the nickname when he was asleep and all curled up. His uncle it is said after watching him curl up in a tight fetal position to sleep said "Well look at him all curled up like a tater bug" ....and the name stuck.
Bug made a portable display he took to all the tractor shows, it was a correct miniature scale model of a farmstead and buildings around the 20's. He handmade all the buildings including hand making the shingles for the house, barn, corn crib and even the scale outhouse. You could look in the windows of the house and even see wallpaper he put on the walls. All of this fit on a 2 sled snowmobile trailer he could enclose and take to the next show. It was quite a attraction and brought him a great sense of pride making a exact scale model.....right down to the imitation horsesh!t in the stalls.
He once stole a Christmas tree while stationed in the war zone of WW2. He said he and a friend wanted to make sure the boys had a tree for Christmas and went under the cover of darkness in enemy territory to procure a tree. He and his friend made it back to camp safely with said stolen tree, only to suffer the wrath of his commander for risking his life and anothers for the tree......then after his stern scolding his commander said "Thanks Bug, for making it a bit more enjoyable".
He also claimed he had never shot a legal buck since 1948. I would watch him get out of bed in the morning to go hunting and after all his gear was together he would go to the fridge and grab one can of beer....then off to the woods only to return without a buck and put the can of beer back in the fridge. After watching him do this many times I finally asked why he did this. He said " I take that can of beer with me because if I ever get lucky enough to shoot another buck I am going to kiss his nads then wash the taste away with a beer.
He was a bit of a fighter when the need presented itself....my oldest brother got sucker punched in a bar one night and Uncle Bug was quick to jump up from the table and grab the guy....put him in a headlock and smacked him in the face a few times.....the guy said "Now hold on old man, I've had enough of this"....Bug said "You'll have enough when I get tired of hitting your face, there was no call for what you did".
I have so many stories and fond memories, I'll miss him......thanks for listening.