We received the news yesterday when we arrived home from our trip that our favorite uncle (Mr. Snooty's Dad's oldest brother) had passed away at the age of 86. He was always considered the *black sheep* of the family, which instantly made him my favorite uncle. He was born in 1923, did a stint in the U.S. Navy during WWII, he was a graduate of the Univ. of Oklahoma and Columbia University (where he met and became friends with Jack Kerouac). Uncle Bob was also an excellent and successful oil and gas geologist.
Uncle Bob was the oldest of four brothers and one sister, being tagged as the *black sheep* because he divorced his first wife, drank bourbon, smoked cigars, and was a bit of a wild man back in the day. He also lived with a wonderful woman for something like 40 years, who was at his side when he passed. Of course, that's why I was immediately drawn to him. He was quite the character and was close friends with the likes of Hunter Thompson, Dirty Bertie Cross, and Ralph Jackson, all considered to be part of the *Beat Generation*. He was about as cool a cat as I ever knew, and I knew a lot of them through my mother, The Brown Recluse.
We both shared a mad passion for jazz and skiing, so we were kindred spirits from the get go. His absolute favorite jazz pianist was Ralph Sutton, who actually lived in Denver during the same time Uncle Bob did. From what I understand, they knew each other for years. He authored several books that were filled with his *witicisms*, while others were about geology, with a twist of humor added, and we have them all. I will treasure them until I die and hopefully, my children will treasure them as well. Bob never had children of his own.
At one time he literally owned Four-O-Clock run in Breckenridge, CO. He eventually sold the land, but kept a condo there for many years, which we were invited to use many times, and did. You could actually ski in and out from his place and it was the most amazing condo and location ever. Uncle Bob was an avid skier and even though he actually lived in Denver, he never failed to come and ski with us.
This picture and the next are from February 1978, four months after Mr. Snooty and I married.
He always tried to make me laugh when we skied because I made such a big deal about all the guys being able to *retreat to the trees* while I had to go inside to take care of business. It was like he made it his mission to make me giggle, which always made me feel like I was special and that he accepted me into the family, even though it was annoying at the same time. He always cracked me up. He always smoked lovely smelling cigars, even on the mountain while skiing. The man was a total riot to be around, even in his later years. He had something of a *dry ice* wit and I adored him.
I apologize for the quality of this picture but it's the best I could do in my post vacation mode. I've been in and out of bed all day due to total exhaustion.
Eventually, he and the love of his life sold their properties in Denver and Breckenridge and moved to Montana, where they lived very happily for many years before his demise. When he was in his 70's, he (and his lovely companion) skied the Canadian Cariboos by helicopter, which has been a lifelong dream of mine. There is even a book about their experience, which is one of my great treasures. He was just SO SPECIAL and I will truly miss him until I die....
Honestly, I was in bed all day yesterday, trying to recover from the trip. So, I hope to get a post up this week. I just felt that Uncle Bob deserved a little lip service.
Oh... And can I just say FUCK CANCER? Well, I just did, so there. I'll even say it again. FUCK CANCER! It's the scourge of the earth and I hate it, hate it, hate it!