I found out today that my Uncle Ed died.
On the one hand, the news is sad, but I am also relieved since he was suffering with a neurological disease for years.
Growing up, my Dad's parents (after my own parents divorced) would take me in for the summer in Royal Oak, Michigan (for the geographically impared, Royal Oak is just outside Detroit). Ed married my Dad's sister Jan, and they lived just a block and a half away from my grandparents house. What really stood out about their house was the six car garage Ed built (I recall him building it) to store the cars he spent his time restoring. There was also the two story play house he built for his kids.
Not only handy, he also had an incredible sense of humor and at times probably could have used some adult supervision himself, especially around fireworks.
Ah, the fireworks. He would trade glasses (he was an optician and was part owner of a glasses shop) for a ridiculous amount of fireworks every year. There was the time when a Roman candle fell over and started shooting at the garage, Ed kicked it and it started shooting at the neighbor's house. Then there was the time we went into the park behind his house and several fireworks ended up landing near the school on the other side of the park, and the ones that didn't hit the school nearly hit 12 Mile Rd.
He was also my first real introduction to computers. One year I visited, he would occasionally take me into his office and let me play games on the Apple ][ he used for the business (oh, and sometimes I would have to clean the glasses before they were delivered to customers). I recall us both being affected by the ending of the classical text adventure game “Planetfall.” And at his house, he had an ever increasing number of gaming systems, starting with the Bally Professional Arcade system back in 1979.
It's no wonder that his own kids are involved with carpentry and information technology.
So here's to Uncle Ed. And much love to Aunt Jan, and my cousins Seth, Levi and Mallory.