Tell a story about one of your relatives. : LUSENET : Novenotes : One Thread

Tell a story about one of your relatives.--Al

-- Al Schroeder (, August 06, 2000


That was a nice story about your sister. I hesitate to even write this entry. It's a downer. I sure hope someone is going to write you a wonderful story about a family member that saved the Universe from destruction, or rescued a kid from danger. Buddy, this isn't it. If you aren't interested in reading about the harsher side of life, you might as well keep on moving to the next entry.

In 1981 I was a single parent, trying to raise two daughters by myself. No financial assistance from my ex-husband, etc. I had a job that put me to sleep and it had no great future. Money was very tight. So when the Air Traffic Controller strike happened and the controllers were fired by the President, I decided to expand my career options for my family by going to Air Traffic Controller School for three months. (It takes a lot longer than that to become a controller, but that's the initial school period, before you are sent to your duty station for more training.)

The school was across the country. So that meant that I had to ask my parents to take care of my girls for three months, and at the same time I asked my 26 year-old brother to "house-sit" for me to take care of my apartment, etc. My brother had just gotten out of the Army, and was looking for a place to stay, anyway. I paid the rent for him, all he had to do was take care of the place for me.

When I came home three months later, my apartment was empty. I don't mean that my brother wasn't there - I mean NOTHING was there. He had sold everything in my apartment. What he couldn't sell for money, he gave away to friends, or broke. He had wild parties in the apartment - there were burn/scorch marks on the wood panelling and holes punched into the walls. I couldn't believe it. I sat on the porch steps and just cried. Betrayal. The worst of all actions is betrayal. Everytime I tried to take a step forward in getting my life together, I found myself taking two steps backward. I had two girls to take care of, and they no longer even had a bed to sleep in. Even the girl's bedroom furniture had been sold or broken up into pieces..........

I asked my Mom what happened. I knew she had known all along something was going on. She just shrugged her shoulders. Her typical reaction to conflict or confrontation.

So I had to slowly, each pay period, put the apartment back to rights and buy second-hand furniture until I could do better for my girls. One of my girlfriends had stored her diving gear in my garage, and that had been sold by my brother, as well. I had to replace her entire diving kit. (Expensive hobby!) It took me years to recover financially - but emotionally, my brother is lost to me.

I didn't call the police - it would have been too much for my Mom to take. It was easier on her, for her to believe nothing had happened. That her son was still a good son. She never stepped foot into my apartment to see the damage. She never acknowledged anything had happended.

Oh, my brother did call me afterward. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy back my 100-gallon aquarium from him, for $100 bucks........

-- Planet Earth (, August 06, 2000.

My Mom supposedly could not have any more children due to her diabetes. She got pregnant when she was 41 and I was 21! So I have a brother, Shane, who is 22 years younger than me. He was completely unexpected, but very loved. It's always fun for me to tell people I have a four year old brother :)

-- AJ (, August 06, 2000.

Missed this question a time ago. Do I talk about the aunt who was married 13 times, or the godfather who was a 6-day bicycle racer, the great uncle who came within one fight of being the featherweight champion, or my vaudevillian grandparents? Maybe I should talk about the aunt who was a little dingy and used to have conversations with her friend from Mars, who introduced her to such people as Abraham Lincoln. Maybe I'll talk about my uncle Scotty.

Scotty was in the Air Corps during WW11. His career as a "belly gunner" in a B-29 Bomber took him over Germany where the Allies were bombing enemy positions. On his third raid over Nazi land, his plane was shot down. Luckily, he had time to bail out, but while parachuting down into enemy territory he was hit in the legs with enemy shrapnel.

In less than fifteen minutes after landing, the French and Dutch underground partisans were there to give him cigarettes and a sandwich. They departed just minutes before the Germans arrived. When the Nazi Captain learned that the partisans had already helped Scotty, he became enraged and threatened to have him put before a firing squad immediately. For some reason this did not happen, instead, he was carted off to the local jail.

Scotty spent almost a year in a concentration camp before the war ended and his stories about life in the war camps ran the gamut of horror to comedy.

When the troop ships were bringing home thousands of Veterans from Europe, Scotty got himself assigned to kitchen duty on board ship. By the time he arrived in New York City and home, he had gained back the fifty pounds he had lost in the prison camp.

-- Bev Sykes (, August 22, 2000.

The man who was called my Father's brother, but in reality was his uncle, who brought my Father west from the east coast to get him away from the unpleasant environment that existed for Dad there. This man who I consider as close to being an angel on earth never had a bad word to say about anybody, was the kindest most gentle courteous man I have ever seen. His son once told me that his Mom could strap him until she tired to no effect, good or bad. It was just something to be borne and recover from. But a soft word of, "Oh, I wouldn't have done that." Would put his son so far down in his own estimation that he would strive to be more like his father. He was a skilled cabinet maker, who during the depression took any job, no matter how small or low paying to put food on their table without one word of complaint of demonstration of self pity. In my mind he was all things good to all people.

-- Denver doug (, August 22, 2000.

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