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Uncle Leo
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New-Gen    Posted 11-20-2004 at 22:29:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
My Great Uncle Leo was, to say the least an interesting character.He passed away in 2000. Had he lived another two weeks he would have celebrated his 102nd birthday.He lived in three centuries. He probably didn't remember much of the first one, but he entertained us with many stories of his life during the second one. In fact, his mind was good right up to the end, so he was pretty savvy about the short time he lived in the third one too.

Although his entire life was lived in the same township he was born in, he was not stagnated, even late in his life. He had 6 years of
formal education in the one room school down the road, which, during the time he was coming of age was sufficient to prepare a person for life, at least in this area.

Of all his brothers and sisters, he was the most colorful. He lived life to the fullest, working hard and playing hard. At family gatherings he was the social butterfly. He could be found at the beer cooler, the horseshoe pit, or even in the kitchen at any given time. He was a very talented story teller, so it wasn't out of the ordinary to find him with a group of kids from 3 to 30 and beyond gathered around him listening intently as he told about one adventure after another.

Like the time they beheaded a large turtle with the intention of making him the donor for their turtle soup. Uncle Leo just had to stick his finger in the mouth to see what would happen. The jaw muscles tightened up, causing the severed head to attach itself to Uncle Leo's finger! One time we found a turtle and asked him to show us how he did it but he declined so maybe he did learn from his mistakes.

He was able to pass the drivers test until he was in his late 90's. His last car was a 1970 Buick LeSabre that he bought new. It never saw the inside of a garage in it's entire life, and was seldom ever on the recieving end of a hose or scrub brush either for that matter, so needless to say it got pretty grungy looking. One Sunday afternoon after a few barley pops {actually quite a few, Uncle Leo could handle it with the best of them}, he decided to give the old girl a paint job. Since the local hardware store was closed on Sundays, and after he turned 90 he didn't like to venture out to the big town 15 miles away, he had to use what his son had on hand in the toolshed. He managed to find a gallon each of John Deere green and yellow, along with a roller, pan and brush. Pulling the Buick under the nearest shade tree, he proceeded to give it a facelift. The car was originally red with a white vinyl top. The yellow stuck pretty well to the vinyl top and tires, but not especially to the hubcaps. The green did alright except for the spots he missed. The combination made it look like something Santa's Elves and the Easter Bunny's helpers might have done at a combined company party. But it looked good to Uncle Leo, and after he got the green and yellow paint scraped off the windows {he couldn't find the masking tape}, he proudly drove that car for the rest of his driving days!

The Buick was far superior to the means of transportation he and four of his buddies used one night during the 1920's when they decided to "borrow" a railroad handcar to get to the next town where the tavern stayed open an hour later. The trip was uneventful as they pumped their way west, until they heard the unmistakable sound of a train whistle in the not very far off distance. As told by Uncle Leo, when they saw that big headlight coming at them some of the guys jumped off one side, the rest jumped off the other side, and when the cowcatcher made contact with the handcar the iron and splinters flew and they hit the deck!!
He never did tell me if the train stopped. My guess would be it didn't, because knowing Uncle Leo, if it had, he probably would have had a good story about the night he got to drive the train!

James(Ga)    Posted 11-20-2004 at 22:49:01       [Reply]  [No Email]

Good story New-Gen, I sure would have liked to have met uncle Leo,I bet he could tell you some things. I would have liked to sit and talked to him for awhile. Take care. James

KellyGa    Posted 11-21-2004 at 06:54:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nice story. Some of us have the craziest realtives, don't we? Conjures up some memories of my own, hmmmm. :)

DD    Posted 11-21-2004 at 11:47:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep, but didja ever notice that those are usually the ones who always tell the best stories and at family gatherings ya just kinda "migrate" to them so you can listen too : )

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