Tim's Uncle Hermie has been gone for probably 4 years now. Still, during the family reunion, his name invariably comes up. He was the master of the outdoor brick oven and he taught Tim. So now Tim goes early to get the oven ready for the bread making for the family reunion.
I sat listening to Dave and Gene swapping Uncle Hermie stories and this one made me laugh:
Uncle Hermie was a pilot. He had a little airplane he flew all over the place from a little airport across the road from where his brother's farm with the brick oven still stands, now in the reliable hands of a younger generation of his bloodline.
Gene lived on that little farm and was Uncle Herman's nephew, the son of Herman's brother Harold. Now when Gene was young, he would play baseball with his friend across the road at the airport. They knew to get out of the way when a plane flew in. It wasn't anything fancy, just a mowed strip where a plane could land, just perfect for boys honing their baseball skills.
They heard a plane coming in and scooted out of the way. The plane landed and taxied right up to them. Two men got out, and the older one said, "Do you know Herman __________? Gene allowed that it was his uncle who lived about 8 miles away. In those days, getting there would have been a problem and not everyone had a phone.
The man asked them if they wanted to go for a ride before he left and they certainly did. They clambered aboard, and they flew, and Gene said that you could tell this man knew his stuff. He didn't razzle dazzle them with tricks like Uncle Hermie, but he was a darn good pilot. When they commented on this, he said that it was his nephew's plane and that his nephew (in the copilot's seat) was the one flying the plane.
As young as they were, they knew that this was not true. They could tell who was flying that plane.
After a nice ride, he brought them back to the landing strip, and dropped them off. "Don't forget!" he called out. "Tell Herman that Floyd W----------- came looking for him." He took off.
The next time that Gene saw his uncle, he told him that Floyd had flown in and gave him a ride. Uncle Herman looked incredulous. "Are you sure?" he wanted to know. "Because Floyd hasn't had a pilot's license since they put him in the mental hospital."
70 years later, we laughed ourselves silly over it.
I cannot remember whether it was his mother or his wife, but that woman did not like Floyd. He scared her. But Uncle Herman didn't mind him. They traveled all over the country in their little plane.
I miss that man.