A few weeks ago I was driving home from Salt Lake and an old song by Randy Travis came on the radio, instantly my Uncle Bob's sweet face popped in my mind. He passed away about a year ago, and for that short 40 minute drive home I felt like I had an unseen passenger:)
He was my great uncle and just as he appears in the picture above is how he looked when I was a little girl. He was raised in Kentucky, grew up very poor, I never remember him having any teeth.
He rolled his own cigarettes and let me lick the paper and give it a little twist, he never learned how to read or write; he signed his name with an X. He never married, he told me because he didn't think he would ever be able to provide well enough.
He always had a watch on a chain that he kept in his overalls that he told me I cut my teeth on. I remember pulling it out and putting it up to my ear to hear it tick.
He always smelled like Old Spice, and was always clean shaven.
He worked as a hired hand for my Uncle Frank on the farm. I have wonderful memories of listening to all of my uncles, and Papa sitting around Grandma Jewell's dinner table, drinking coffee hot enough to burn your taste buds and playing Rook, laughing and tellin jokes.
In his later years my mom moved my Uncle Bob out to Tennessee so she could take care of him. I got to see him once a year until he passed away. He was a good man, he always told me he would have liked to come see the mountains of Utah. Well, I think he did... with me... a few weeks ago, in my car.