Sunday, November 7, 2010

Uncle Ron

Dad only had one brother---20 years younger than he was. (There had been another boy named Milton but he died shortly after birth. ) For more photos of Dad and Ron, click here.
Often Ron is that little blip in the corner of the family photos. Mary was 10 years older, Maxine was 14 years older, Norma was 17 years older.
Although he was an "only child" for much of his childhood, he was soon blessed with many nieces and nephews. Bob, Steve and I were actually closer to Ron in age than any of his siblings.
Ron is in the middle with his father Roy behind him. His nephews Bob and Steve are on either side. Ron was only 8 years older than Bob, Steve and myself. Visiting our Long grandparents was always fun because Ron had toys and games for us to play with.
We often viewed him as an older brother. Here are Ron, Steve Adams and Roy Long. I do recall a few things about his teen years. One memory was of him building and racing in the soap box derby. The other thing I recall was shopping with my mother trying to find clothes that he wanted---a button down collar shirt and pants with a buckle in the back. I think it was the first time I was aware that boys had clothing preferences and style.
I wasn't as close to Ron as Steve or Bob was in those years: in part because I was a girl, but also Ron had health issues. I didn't (and don't) handle hospitals and sick people well, so my mother shielded me from a lot of Ron's health problems. He was often in the hospital having orthopedic surgery on his feet. Ron was born with two club feet so a large portion of his childhood was spent in Shriner's Hospital having surgery to correct this birth defect. He is probably in his teens in the above photo. I do recall that his mother (my grandmother) died shortly after this surgery.

While I don't remember much about this time of Ron's life, I do remember going to the Shriner's Circus every year to support the Shriner's work in helping children with orthopedic problems. I also remember hearing that he was like the poster boy for Shriner's Hospital one year---he appeared in the newspaper (above) and he was one of two children to ride in the back of a convertible in the parade.
I was probably closest to Ron when I was in my late teens and early 20's and he was in his late 20's. He and his wife Rose were wonderful mentors and friends to all of us nieces and nephews often entertaining us. But, more importantly, Ron was the first in our family to go to college inspiring all of the rest of us to continue in our education.

1 comment:

Mizzou81 said...

Rose..possibly my most favorite...well next to Mary & Norma....I loved the chianti and red sauce....actually still do ...Burp!