It’s hard to think of your aunts and uncles as being young people. To you, they have always been adults, and they probably never sewed any wild oats…I mean, old people didn’t do that sort of thing did they? I suppose that the way kids sewed their wild oats in days gone by, is very different than the way kids do that today. In fact, I’m sure that wild oats in the 1940’s were really pretty tame oats in all reality. It was during this time period that my Uncle Bill, and his sisters, my Aunt Laura and my Aunt Ruth were working in the shipyards. On their few days off, they liked to get together with their friends for what Uncle Bill called a party. My dad missed out on those little gatherings, unfortunately, because he was in England fighting in World War II. but if I know him, he didn’t begrudge them their parties, because he did have R & R after all.
Parties on those days might have meant a big gathering at one of the area lakes, somewhat like a reunion of sorts., but I seriously doubt if the gatherings they called parties were anything like even some of the tame parties of today. If they had beer or anything like that, I would be surprised…but I could be wrong. No, I think they had picnics, went for rides on the lake in a small boat, and probably did a little fishing. What better way to relax. I do know that fishing was a part of their little outings, because Uncle Bill took a picture of the fishing.
As to the wild oats, well maybe Uncle Bill did sew a few. These parties were, of course, men and women, and being a bachelor, and a definite ladies man, Uncle Bill very much enjoyed those outings, because of all the pretty girls that went along. It probably worked out very well too, if there was an equal number of men and women, but if not, well…it’s every man for himself right. So maybe they did sew some wild oats, and while their parties were quite a bit more tame than those of this century…it’s all about socializing, relationships, and fun…right.
I have been reading through the letters my dad wrote home to his family while he was in World War II. He was a 20 year old boy who was a long way from home, and was missing his family. Like most younger brothers, my dad looked up to his brother, my Uncle Bill, who was 2 years older than my dad. To my dad, Uncle Bill was a very sophisticated ladies’ man. He always seemed to have a girl or two hanging around him, and that was a well known fact. I have come across pictures of my uncle during those young years, and those girls seemed always to be there. Uncle Bill was a looker too. Both of those Spencer boys were.
In Dad’s letters, he talked about the adventures his big brother was fond of having. It wasn’t that my dad wasn’t having adventures of his own, but…well, to him, his big brother was just cool, and like many little brothers, Dad looked at his brother and thought…maybe I could be like him. Dad hadn’t really grown into the wonderful man my mother married, or the amazing dad that he became yet. His brother was his hero to a large degree.
Today, my dad’s handsome brother is 90 years old, and his little brother, my dad has been in heaven for 4 long years. My uncle is still quite a character, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the nurses and aides around him still see a bit of that ladies’ man in him. It seems like as men get older, they like to flirt more. A trait that I find to be very cute, and endearing in the older men I know. They are always so complimentary, no matter how bad you might look that day. It’s just a sweetness they seem to have.
My uncle lives far away in Wisconsin, and it’s not so easy for him to travel, especially as his mind is slipping more and more. My uncle has always been a history buff, and the family history was his personal passion. Through the years he has amassed a wealth of information on our family. It is information that might have been lost if he had not put it all together. Our family has been very blessed by the information Uncle Bill was able to gather.
At 90 years old, I don’t know if Uncle Bill is still a ladies’ man, like many older men are, but I know that I have always loved my uncle very much. He was a good friend when I was growing up, even though we didn’t live close to his family. He was my Cribbage buddy, we wrote letters, and later we shared a love of the family history. It makes me sad that he is getting older, but happy that he has reached the grand old age of 90. Happy birthday Uncle Bill!! I love you very much!!