Thursday, January 10, 2008

Uncle Marve

My wife called me at work today to let me know I received a letter from my uncle Marve. This was not totally unexpected, as I had sent him a Christmas card this year. But this was the first time I've heard directly from my uncle in at least 20 years.

Marve is my father's brother, and went to prison 41 years ago. When I was a child, we used to all cram into my dad's car and drive down to Walla Walla for visits. I can still vaguely remember passing through security into a grassy yard surrounded by high walls. I hardly remember saying anything. I just remember sitting on his lap and drinking red Kool-Aid. Strange the way memories work that way. One time we drove all the way down, only to be turned away by the prison guards. My auntie Marlene was furious, and as we walked back to the car she fumed about those "goddam cops..." Before long, I remember imitating my aunt in the way I stomped my feet and swung my arms. My dad thought it was funny until I also started huffing about those "goddam cops." I was only four years old. How should I have known not to say those things?

Since that time, uncle Marve moved throughout the prison system. From time to time I wondered what ever happened to him, but I never thought to contact him. Now that I have, I'm glad I did. He said he would answer anything I might think to ask, so I think I'll take him up on it.

By the way, my uncle is the man standing right in the middle of the back row. He's old enough now to almost look like the elder of that little group, but he says he doesn't know any of those guys.

1 comment:

lo llaguter said...

me too


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