First of all you have to realize that I wasn't a lovable kid. I was my mom's only baby (by birth). I was strong-willed and contrary. I never really learned how to deal with other kids, and I didn't have a lot of friends. Nor did I feel I needed them, to be honest.
But I did have a wonderful extended family. I had uncles and aunts and cousins who accepted me, just the way I was.
I hate to confess to having a favorite, but I did have one: My Uncle Leo.
He laughed at my silly jokes that nobody else saw humor in... like this one: "What does FORD stand for?"
"I don't know."
"Fix Or Repair Daily."
I remember Uncle Leo laughing a lot at that one. Of course we were riding in his Chevy at the time.
As a kid, I'd spend a week every summer at Grandma's house. This meant spending a couple of nights at Uncle Leo's and Aunt Mary's house, since they lived up the road about a quarter-mile. He had four children: Carolyn (who was born an adult at heart and didn't play with us kids much), Betty, Royce, and sweet little Linda.
I never had a lot of friends, but I had cousins who were stuck with me. And by George, all my aunts and uncles made sure they were nice to me.
Because of memories like these, we ended up with my Uncle Leo's old parts tractor, a WC Allis Chalmers that he bought because his WD Allis needed a radiator, and that was the cheapest way of getting it.
(To be continued.)