These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

balloon-popping uncle larry

mom called yesterday afternoon toinform me my uncle lazaro died. he's been sick for more than two years. i'm not exactly sure but it i think he had alzheimer's and then things progressed from there. the last update his blood pressure was extremely low. he no longer recognized anyone or even himself.

uncle lazaro was dad's last surviving uncle. i think there is only one sister left and that's lazaro's sister, lela. unless my memory's faiing, i think that's it. everyone on my grandfather's side is dead and lazaro and lela are the only living relatives of my grandma. lazaro's wife, lene is still alive and lives alone with her sister in law lela next door to her at the ranch, san jose. boy, that ranch is getting really small as the older people die. soon there will be only houses and no people.

i will always remember my uncle larry for one thing, unfortunately, it's something annoying. he started this "tradition" at parties of popping balloons that had been taped to tables or walls. it was funny the first couple of times, but after doing it numerous times over a period of years, it got on my nerves. people would laugh heartily, but i only looked on sullenly.

but i have some good memories of the old man. he was a hard worker and loved the ranch. my earliest memory of him is his green truck. it was small, a chevy i think, that he'd place hay bales on and take them to the cows. he later sold it to my grandfather on my mom's side.

i'll also always affiliate john deere with him. he had several tractors and a mess of farm equipment. i'd see him on a jd with hsi wide-brimmed straw hat and a chewed up cigar in his mouth, king edward boxes were always at his house and i guess that's what they were.

so he was a good man, talkative, always felt some sort of kindness for me because of my bad vision (he himself had bad vision).

and now he is no more and another generation coming to an end in my family.