Thursday, June 22, 2017

TBT: Thoughts of My Uncle

A couple of weeks ago, I saw that my cousin's daughter had posted a photo of her late grandfather on Facebook.

People often post photos of dead relatives who were Veterans on Memorial Day. I've seen this photo of my uncle who died just as WWII ended many times over the years. My Uncle Joe died in a plane crash September 5, 1945 in North East India. His son, my cousin Joe and I were both born in 1944. Joe was born in October and I was born in September.

I never met my uncle and my cousin Joe never knew his father but my mother always told me how handsome he was with his Lithuanian heritage good looks. Uncle Joe was blond and blue eyed or perhaps with green eyes as my mother had and I do. My two sons are blond but have the Irish blue eyes which has always pleased me.

This photo is of my Uncle Joe and his wife Aunt Florence before WWII started. Like my parents, my cousin Joe's heritage is half Lithuanian and half Irish.  I suspect that was pretty common in the small towns in Pennsylvania where they lived. Coal mining towns that had jobs for their immigrant fathers. Towns that most of my parents generation were glad to leave and never hear of coal mines again. My cousin Joe is the only family member who stayed and raised a family in the same neighborhood where his wife grew up.  Now these old coal mining towns are towns for the newest immigrants, those from Central America who are glad to do the harder jobs just as the Irish and Lithuanians did in the late 1800s.  It all goes in cycles.

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