Uncle Wayne ByerWhen my Uncle Wayne Byer was a little boy, it was unheard of for boys to wear shorts…or at least that was the opinion of Uncle Wayne, his brother, my Uncle Larry, and the boys they hung out with. They weren’t against going shirtless in the summer as a way of beating the heat though. Uncle Larry didn’t go shirtless as often as Uncle Wayne did though, because being a blond, he sunburned much easier than Uncle Wayne did. Uncle Wayne, on the other hand, tanned so deeply in the summertime that people often asked him if he was an Indian.

Summers were spent playing outside for most of the day, much of that time in the middle of the street. One woman in particular got very annoyed at the kids as they always seemed to be in the street when she wanted to drive down it. She proceeded to yell at them to “get out of the street and stay out of it.” Like most kids, that didn’t influence them much. They nonchalantly stepped slowly out of the way and let her pass, and then promptly went right back to playing in the street. I have to think they played out in the street at the exact time she had to leave for work, just so they could irritate her…typical of kids, and the mischievous brothers and their friends really enjoyed irritating her.

Uncle Wayne also loved playing Annie-Annie Over, which was a game where one team threw a ball over the house, calling out Annie-Annie Over. That was the only warning the other team got. If they caught the ball, they could sneak around the house and try to tag someone on the opposing team with the ball, before that team could run around to the other side of the house, thereby claiming that side as theirs now. If they tagged someone, that person was now on their team. If the ball didn’t go over, the throwing team called out Pigtail. That way, they got another chance to throw. When one whole team ends up on the opposing team’s side, the game is over, and the winning team is the one with team members. The summer days were filled with this and many other games, and made for great memories.

Uncle Wayne and the rest of the boys he hung out with always seemed to be in some mischief and before long the police were called. No they weren’t in serious trouble, but in those days, the police would bring them in and call their parents. For most kids, this straightened them out pretty quickly, because calling their parents usually meant a good whoopin’ and that Wayne Doyle Byersolved the problem, but these boys ended up at the police station more than once. Back then, there was a truck that drove around delivering pop to people who wanted to buy it. It was similar to the ice cream truck of today, or maybe the Swann’s truck. One time, when the driver was delivering pop to a house, and the boys decided to relieve him of a couple of six packs each. The delivery driver gave chase, and since the boys were a little bit hampered by 2 six packs of pop each, they couldn’t get away. The next stop was the police station, and a call to my grandpa. They might have been scared, but their dad was a pretty softhearted man, so maybe not. Today is Uncle Wayne’s birthday. Happy birthday Uncle Wayne!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Fashionable in ShortsI have always thought that my Aunt Virginia was glamorous. It wasn’t that she lead a rich type of life or was a model or anything, I just thought she could have been. She was always beautiful, and dressed in pretty clothes. Even in a simple pair of shorts, she managed to look glamorous. I guess that as a little girl, you could say I always kind of wanted to be just like my Aunt Virginia. Of course, little girls always have people they look up to, but we have to make our own lives.

Aunt Virginia is my mom’s older sister. She is the second born of my grandparents’ nine children. I’m sure that was a very big responsibility. In any family, the older kids help with the younger kids. That said, you can imagine the experience Aunt Virginia had when it came to babies, and little kids. She helped with seven younger siblings. I was also the second born, but I only helped with three younger sisters. Nevertheless, I had plenty of experience, and when it came time for me to have my own kids…well, lets just say I knew how to handle babies, as well as little kids. I’d been around it all my life.

As I said, Aunt Virginia was my mom’s older sister, and I’m sure she watched out for her whenever she could. As kids get older, their siblings become friends. That was also the case for my mom and my Aunt Virginia. In fact, they were such good friends, that it was Aunt Virginia who introduced my mom to my dad. Now, you might be thinking that was a Aunt Virginiavery nice thing for her to do, and I would have to agree with you on that one. I mean, when you think about it, without my Aunt Virginia, where would my sisters and I be. I suppose you could say that my mother still would have had children, whether she married my dad or not, but those kids would not have been me or my sisters. I guess you could say that we very much owe our lives to Aunt Virginia.

Today is Aunt Virginia’s birthday. I can’t think of a better time to tell her thank you for introducing my parents, so we could be her nieces. I can’t think of a nicer way to become someone’s niece. Happy birthday Aunt Virginia!! I hope you have a wonderful day!! We love you very much!!

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