Thursday, February 14, 2008


Uncle Phil (one of my dad’s brothers) used to take me fishing with him.
We went to Berkeley Lake (the same lake where my high school cross-country team ran.)

Uncle Phil and I always sat on the same little pier.
I remember that this lake had mostly fish called crappies.
“Boy”, I’d say to myself,
“Who would want to eat fish called crappies?”And so I never ate any.
I just remember that they had a lot of shiny and slimy scales.
Uncle Phil didn’t catch very many.

It seemed like most of the time I was untangling Uncle Phil’s fishing line.
Dozens and dozens of little knots.
I took pride in my detangling dexterity.
Uncle Phil always gave me a big smile when I had finished untying those nasty knots.

Uncle Phil had long and yellow toenails.
It looked as if he smoked with his feet.
When I looked at Uncle Phil's lengthy toe nails, I wondered whether they would continue to grow when he passed away.

Uncle Phil had a Chihuahua named Skeeter.
He was big and friendly, but his hair was everywhere.

Aunt Marge was Uncle Phil’s wife.
She cooked plump, fruit-filled pastries.
I have never eaten any as delicious as these.
Aunt Marge always had some for us kids to eat.

My parents didn’t visit Uncle Phil and Aunt Marge very often, so our visits became that much more meaningful.
I had a happy childhood.


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