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Doesn't Everyone Have an Uncle Jim?

Story ID:7051
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Poem
Location:HEMET CA. USA
Year:1960
Person:Lucky Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Doesn't Everyone Have an Uncle Jim?

Doesn't Everyone Have an Uncle Jim?

Doesnt Everybody Have an Uncle Jim?

Shirley and I left El Dorado
Headed East, on the highway
Toward Fredonia, Kansas
On a warm summer day

To visit Shirleys Aunt and Uncle
Aunt Etta and Uncle Jim
For a Sunday visit
Id not met either of them

Upon arrival
We received a hearty welcome
From Aunt Etta and Uncle Jim
To their small two bedroom home

After some small talk
Asked what we liked for dinner
Catfish, duck, squirrel, rabbit or goose
I thought any one of these would be a winner

We picked catfish
Then Jim and I moved to the porch swing
As we sat there in the cool shade
Talking about little things

While Jim was talking about
His serving in Germany in WW 1
About how he cooked for the officers mess
And about the things hed done

In the middle of Jims story
Aunt Etta would appear
Jim go to the garden get me
Lettuce, tomatoes, onions and corn, dear

Jim would act quickly
Gather all those garden things
Pick up where had left off
Come back and continue talking

In all the visits
To see Aunt Etta and Uncle Jim
I never heard the same story twice
I really enjoyed listening to him.

Jim asked me
If I would like to go fishing
I thought hed never ask
He said he had rods and reels and everything

The next morning at about 4 A.M.
Arose and still feeling a little wavy
Aunt Etta had gotten up earlier, and fixed
Fried eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy

We headed for the store for supplies
Jim drove his blue Ford Coupe
Got some stink bait, loaf of bread and
Some salami to munch on today

Jim had a beautiful red pocket knife
That he used to cut that rotten bait
To feed the fish
While on the river bank we wait

Jim headed up the river
Fifty yards from me
Not a bite today
As I waited patiently.

Jim yelled and said
Its time to eat
Took out that beautiful red knife
To cut up the salami meat

Im thinking how do I respond
Do I hurt his feelings
By not eating this sandwich
My mind was reeling

He handed me the sandwich
He was making one for him
With that Beautiful Red Knife
Doing the fixings was Uncle Jim

I was not going to hurt his feelings
I decided to go for broke
I was going to eat this sandwich
If it made me choke

He took a bite
I held my breath
If he can eat that sandwich
I was scared to death

Then he started laughing
I did not get the joke
Tears were pouring down his cheeks
At me his fingers did poke

When he quit laughing
When he could talk
He told me that my face
Was white as chalk

That dirty old Uncle Jim
Had fooled me for good
He had one beautiful red knife for bait
He had one beautiful red knife for food.

Im sure we all have had an Uncle Jim
And an Aunt Etta too
Without these great memories
What would we do?

Uncle Jim and Aunt Etta
Have long since gone
But these precious memories
Will forever live on.
Monte L. Manka 03-30-11


Picture on board ship going over seas 1918
Uncle Jim on the left.

Uncle Jim and Dick Clanton fishing on Fall River, 1960