It is homecoming week at our local high school, yesterday was “red, white and blue” day; today is denim day. I casually mentioned that I had an old jean jacket if he wanted to borrow it. He agreed to look at it and declared it, kinda cool and sort of retro. And promptly put it on.
Well, yes… probably a bit retro. I received it as a Christmas present my sophomore year of high school. I wanted one so much. Funding in the household did not lead itself to rash and name brand purchases. I had two pair of Guess jeans I had bought with money I had saved working at Ponderosa. A Coca-Cola jean jacket was beyond all hope. But I dreamed.
My mother’s older brother was a good man. A busy man. A traveling man. He had large dreams and many hobbies. He meant well, but follow through was iffy sometimes. He would flit into our lives and back out again. He was misunderstood, troubled and I really enjoyed being around him and learning from him. He opened my world to possibilities. He was the only person who has ever been allowed to shorten my name and I was ok with it. He taught me about genealogy and reading ships manifests. He cleaned up my first resume. He met me when I flew out to college.
It just so happened… sophomore Christmas was a flit in time for him and his wife. She confided they had done no shopping but did I have ideas for my family. I did, and I also gave one for me. There is a picture of me opening the jacket. It is a combination of joy and disbelief and wonder that sometimes a dream/wish does come true all shown on the face of a somewhat jaded high school teen.
He was a good man.