Thursday, August 21, 2008
Check Out My Great Uncle Jim!
My cousin Anita forwarded an email link to a local news broadcast in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her father (my grandfather's younger brother) is riding a bicycle and interviewed. Awesome!
Let me tell you a little bit about my Great Uncle Jim. He's far and away the most popular member of our family. He has a great personality and sense of humour. Ever since I was a kid and teenager, one of the reasons why I liked comedian Bill Cosby is because he reminded me a lot of my Great Uncle Jim. So, if you want to know what he's like, just watch episodes of "The Cosby Show." Great Uncle Jim is "the white Bill Cosby". A few years ago at a family reunion, we were looking at old photographs and saw that in one picture, Great Uncle Jim looked a lot like George Clooney when he was a young man.
In World War II, he was a paratrooper who participated in the D-Day Invasion (my grandfather was in the Fourth Armored Calvary Regiment who fought at the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium). He married a beautiful lady in Minnesota (Effie) in 1950. They bought a home in Bloomington for $5,000 in the 1950s and have lived there to this day (talk about a great investment!). My Great Aunt Effie passed away last year and she was probably the closest I had to a second grandmother. They have two children: David and Anita. Out of all my cousins, Anita is my favourite (she's ten years older than me and loves to travel).
As Great Uncle Jim says in the video footage, I hope he lives to ride his bicycle across that bridge...but I also hope that he lives long after that day. Maybe we can ride bikes together whenever I make it back to the Twin Cities (it won't be for the Republican convention, I guarantee you that!). He truly is a great person and one that I'm quite honoured to be related to. He's the one person in my family who is loved by everyone and if you ever had the chance to meet him, you'd understand why.