Some family stories are worth remembering and sharing. I was remembering adventures with my Uncle Richard — like the time I took him salmon fishing and he kept losing nice salmon until I saw him secretly tightening down the drag setting on his reel so tightly that the hooks were pulling free.
I asked him with a smile if it would help him not to do that if I broke his thumb for him. He caught the very next salmon he hooked.
One of my favorite stories of Uncle Richard was from when I was about 12 years old. My sister Sheryl was 16 and Richard was about 21. Sheryl had a boyfriend over and the two of them had just begun dating. They were sitting on the living room couch. I was in the kitchen, fixing snacks and half-way keeping an eye on them, whether I should have been doing that or not.
The unmistakable sound of a full-dress Harley Davidson broke the quiet as it pulled up in front of the house with a few extra revs for effect. This thing was big and shiny and bright yellow with loads of chrome, polished perfectly. My Uncle Richard swung his leg off that bike and stood up, all 6 feet 7 inches of him.
He walked up to the door and ducked under the doorframe as he entered the living room. Then he stopped, turned toward Sheryl and the new boyfriend and growled, “Is this the new boyfriend?”
The boyfriend cowered in apparent terror. Sheryl put her hand on her hip and angrily yelled, “Richard! Stop it!”
Richard was undeterred. He sat down next to the trembling kid, put his huge hand on the boys knee, leaned in close to look him in the eye and said: “Sheryl is my niece and I care about her well-being, don’t ya know.”
The poor kid almost passed out, Sheryl was flabbergasted. I almost busted a gut laughing, and Richard just smiled and winked. As I recall, that boyfriend never misbehaved much at all. I wonder why?
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.