My Uncle Leon was my favorite uncle and I will always remember him. He was a fruit and vegetable man by trade. He was a tall, skinny bald man with a mustache and a stubbly beard. His wife, Marian, used to call him her big Bald Eagle. Aunt Marion used to buy clothes for him, wash out his dirty handkerchiefs and cook knockwurst, sauerkraut and beans for him. They loved each other but it was a sad story. My Aunt never got the love and attention that she deserved when she signed up to marry Uncle Leon. Because my uncle loved his whiskey more than anything and he spent most of his waking hours with a bottle in his hand. At work, he would hide his whiskey by putting it into an old Coke bottle and wrapped it in a paper bag. It was disgusting. He used the same Coke bottle for over twenty years.
But I loved my Uncle Leon despite all this. He was a good man. He was always generous and liked a dirty joke or two. He was loyal to his employees and gave free fruit and vegetables to people in need. He made some money but he wasted it all drinking liquor or giving it away. One incident characterized his chaotic life. One night he didn’t come home. He was in a hotel room with an unnamed woman. My Aunt found out and went over to the hotel to get him. He heard the knock on the door and my Aunt’s angry voice; on an impulse my Uncle jumped out of the 4th story window and broke his hip.
But I loved my Uncle Leon anyway. He was always good to me. He believed in me and gave me an old truck and some produce and told me to go out and huckster. I was only 13 years old at the time but he believed that I could do it. Thank you Uncle Leon for your confidence in me. I will never forget you.
For more about my Uncle Leon, read this article on dumpy bars http://marktulin.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Do-Men-Go-to-Dumpy-Bars