As a kid, I remember the funny things that my Uncle Wayne Byer would do, like pushing his false teeth out of his mouth and making them clack together part way out of his mouth. The kids, who always seemed to gather around him, would laugh with delight, while trying to do that with our own teeth, an endeavor that proved impossible. Uncle Wayne had a great laugh and a bright smile, both of which were kid magnets…probably even his childhood years. I can imagine that any kid who was younger than Uncle Wayne, wanted nothing more than to spend time around him, just to see what mischief he might get into next…at least those who knew him, anyway. And my mother, Collene Spencer, being just 2 years older that he, and his usual partner in crime, can tell you just that, for sure.
When I had children of my own, I found myself feeling proud of the fact that my Uncle Wayne was the head of the Natrona County School District #1 bus garage. It was he who made sure that the bus and the driver of the bus that transported my children to school every day were safe and well trained. For a parent who put their kids on a bus and sent them to school on icy roads, and a rather large hill with steep edges and no guard rail, I wanted to know that the driver of that bus knew what he or she was doing. Those were my precious babies after all. Uncle Wayne had retired by the time my girls finished riding the bus to school, but I always felt blessed to have had him there during those years.
I don’t get to see Uncle Wayne much anymore, because I’m working, and he is busy doing his own things, but I still enjoy watching him connect with the little kids whenever I do see him. And of course, we all enjoy hearing his laughter and seeing his smiling face. His sense of humor will always be something that is near and dear to my heart. Uncle way is getting older, like all of us are, and it occurs to me that we may not have him with us too many more years…except for the fact that he is in good health…something that I am very grateful for. Losing aunts, uncles, and parents is really hard, so for as long as we have him with us, and beyond, I will always first picture him clacking his false teeth, whenever he comes to my mind. Today is Uncle Wayne’s 77th birthday. Happy birthday Uncle Wayne!! Have a great day!! We love you!!