A VERY SPECIAL UNCLE
This is my uncle Ciggie. He lives near Chicago.
He's a pretty special guy and one of the people who has been very important in my life.
As a child, my family was always encouraging me to be grown-up, providing books and special educational classes and many wonderful opportunities to develop.
But it was Ciggie who knew that what I really wanted was to just be a kid. He gave me an electric train when I was 5. He regularly showed up on Saturday's to take me to the movie matinee -- two cowboy flicks, 3 serial adventures and 15 cartoons (yup, this was pre-television). And, best of all, he gave me my first ticket to the natural world -- a fishing rod.
When I tell him about it, he says that he knew that it was hard to be an only child as he also was one and that he decided to become my brother so that we could both be happy.
Ciggie was 88 last January. He still learns things on the Internet where he sends me loving messages. He recently got slowed down a bit by a fall from a ladder but the doc says that things are going to be OK. I hope that you can join me in wishing him a speedy and complete recovery. After all... he's my brother.