My mom had a photograph of my uncle in his Navy uniform. He was so breathtakingly handsome. Young, perfect. Dark hair and eyes, tall. A beautiful man. This became my standard of handsome for the rest of my life. Now, decades later, there’s an old fart like me who works out at the same gym I do. He reminds me of my uncle. I can’t keep my eyes off him.

Please use the open space below to share your first 50 words on the topic “uncle.”


Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

4 thoughts on “Uncle”

  1. On one side of my family I was the oldest child and an off-and-on latch key kid. I spent much time with relatives. One of my uncles was a janitor near what we now call the Gold Coast and also near Belmont Harbor in Chicago (It’s not janitor either any more, but building engineer). For me that meant accompanying him when he stoked furnaces in elegant buildings in the neighborhood h, including the Eve Arden building where the management loaned them the apartment they lived in. A couple of other good features on the Gold Coast included walking to the posh Esquire Theater, Oak Street Beach, Drake Hotel. Most of all though was proximity to the Palmolive Building when it was that. The beacon, now shuttered, was for me similar to the light of a firefly. I always wondered about how it made pilots of boaters and planes making their ways west over Lake Michigan. Fishing for smelt and lake perch from the breakwaters was a pleasure I’ll never forget. This uncle was a man of his times also in that he had a car with a rumble seat. My sister and I got to ride in it. This uncle was a stand out in my book. .

  2. My Uncle Tony (he was married to my father’s older sister) was always the “fun” uncle. Fun in that he wasn’t the typical old man. How many senior citizens do you know who grow their own marijuana??? As a kid, Uncle Tony was the only old guy I knew who grew that stuff and smoked it…he kept a one-hitter pipe in an eyeglass case, of all places, and would routinely go to the car “to get his eyeglass case”, only to come back twenty minutes later smelling very pungent. He also told off-color stories of his days as a truck driver (stories probably unfit for children). I miss the old guy.

  3. I sat in my car waiting for my grandson to be released from his kindergarten class. Out of the corner of my eye I caught site of group of young boys hovering in a circle. Curiosity got the most of me I left the car and meandered over to the group. When I got close I could see through a break in the group and witnessed a brutal fight. The young man on the bottom was yelling “uncle.” His words fell on deaf ears. School authorities were moving in while the young man on the bottom screamed ” uncle,” all the louder. While sickened by the incident it left me wondering where did the word “uncle” originate with giving up?

  4. He despised the two bullies who would lurk in alleys or behind bushes to catch him on his walk home from grammar school. It was the most awful part of his day when they would walk alongside elbowing him. He felt trapped. They would taunt him and torment him. It was common knowledge that the two older boys were troublemakers. They would push him into a vacant alley running alongside one of the apartment buildings. Then they would take turns shoving him against the cold brick wall. They would step on his toes forcefully. One of them was short and chubby. The other was tall and very thin with a bad complexion. He, on the other hand, was blond and blue-eyed and people would tell him what a good looking, handsome boy he was. The bullies knew his father had not lived at home in a long time. They felt there would never be any retaliation for their behavior. When he began to sweat and tremble they would finally scream, “say uncle, say uncle!” And he would. He knew he had to do so in order to have them stop. He had to submit to them.

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