Thursday, May 22, 2008

Remembering Uncle Don and Daddy.

Today was my Daddy's birthday. It is the third one we have celebrated without him since his passing September 24, 2005.

Yesterday, I got the news that Daddy's older brother, my Uncle Don, had passed that morning.

In honor of the two of them I am going to post an excerpt from a TT I put together in honor of Daddy on his birthday last May and a couple of photos.

Above circa 1990: My Dad and his brothers. From left to right: Uncle Dean, Uncle Don and Daddy aka Richard. Pictured below is the brothers with their parents Fay and Jean on their farm in Idaho sometime in the mid 1930s. My Dad looks 4 or 5 years old. Don would have been approximately two years older and Dean two years older yet. Faye is wearing the overalls. Thought I better clarify since both names can be either gender. :)

The excerpt is one of the thirteen memories of Daddy that I shared for TT that day and Uncle Don has a starring role in it:

Me, Joy Renee, age 3. Taken the spring or summer of 1961.

The event related below probably occurred in July of that year as it was before my brother turned 2 that August 6.
When I was about three our family went camping with his brother's family near a lake. I am remembering the name White Horse for some reason but I don't know if that was the name of the lake, the camp ground, a nearby town or a toy one of my cousins had with them that day. It was somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, most likely southern Washington or Northern Oregon. This was in the early sixties.

I remember this grassy slope and feeling perfect delight in it. My cousins were rolling down it, which I had been forbidden to do. So instead I started running. Ah, the joy of running down a hill. Possibly my joy in running began that day. It is certain that it is my first clear memory of associating delight with running.

I remember the sound of my Daddy's and my Uncle's voices calling to me to stop. I remember intentionally ignoring them. I was getting close to the bottom where the ankle high grass suddenly got taller than me when suddenly I was swooped into the air and was looking down on my Daddy's face from over the top of my Uncle's head.

I remember feeling disconcerted that I could not interpret Daddy's expression. But from today's adult viewpoint, I am pretty sure it was a combination of emotions vying for dominance along with the exertion of running, for he hadn't quite caught up with his taller, more athletic brother. Fear and relief were probably the two strongest. for I can now interpret the view I had from atop my Uncle's shoulders. A shimmering carpet of sky and clouds rolled out from the other side of that tall grass which I had not quite reached. That tall grass which was probably growing in the water at the edge of that lake.

I learned from my mother after posting the above that White Horse was the name of the park and it was on a river not a lake. She can't remember the river's name. Mom also remembers it as being further south than Eugene which is about half-way between the north and south borders of Oregon and possibly even east of the Rogue Valley here in Southern Oregon where I am living now. After she told me this last December, I meant to Google Oregon maps for White Horse but I haven't done it yet.

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