My Uncle, Dr. David Graham

My Uncle, Dr. David Graham, originally uploaded by mrwaterslide.

My Uncle, Dr. David Graham

Well, he was David Graham then. Later on he was Dr. David E. Graham, of Spruce Pine, Charlotte, Goldsboro, and Matthews (those are all in North Carolina, for you outlanders.) He was the most curious combination of extreme orneriness and extreme intelligence that I have ever met. My Uncle. My mother’s beloved brother (she
has two other brothers, and they are beloved too, but David was the oldest of the boys(the two girls came first), and I think that made a difference.) He was Phi Beta Kappa at Carolina, and then he went on to get his medical degree at the University of Maryland (I’m a bit hazy on some of these facts). He loved the Tarheels and he loathed the Terps. He told me they had a tank of nitrous in a closet off the delivery room in the hospital in Baltimore where he did his residency, and the boys would be in there whiffing on it right before they stepped back into the room to deliver the babies. I don’t think he was making that up. One time he stopped the car (with a bunch of nephews riding along) and said he had to go down this trail (we were up in the mountains) and see his moonshiner. I think he was making that up—he probably just had to take a leak.
He did have moonshine, though—patients gave it to him. He would shake it up and show you by the bead whether it was good or not.
Once, when he was much older, when the Alzheimer’s was just setting in, he asked my mother to take him to the “girly” bar (that’s probably not the word he used). And my mother, who is quite a genteel lady, took him in the car and they set out on a quest to find the “girly” bar. But when they got to where he thought it was, it wasn’t there anymore.
He let us (the sons, the nephews) puff the “see-gars” and sip the beers. He paid
me a quarter one time to let a llama at the Columbus zoo spit in my face a second time. I probably wanted the quarter, but more, I wanted to humor him.
He had a ferocious temper and he was capable of being extremely profane. He was, I think, the ultimate instigator. He loved a beautiful sunset—I think he could feel it in his soul.
I’m sure there are ten thousand stories about my Uncle David, and it saddens me that I only know a few of them. He was the Platonic ideal of the preacher’s kid.
I would imagine that almost everyone who knew him misses him.

(story by mrwaterslide)

mrwaterslide.. this was a great short story… i so enjoyed it.. its a classic unto itself… thank you for sharing this treasure with us… tiandra…