That day we all watched Gracie Allen chase Edward Everett Horton and Martha Raye chase Bob Hope. I left the room before the movie ended, so I don't know if he ever sang those words again.
Uncle LSP loved classic movies. He influenced my taste in them, introducing me to the wit of Burns & Allen. When I was a kid, we would randomly sing songs and quote lines from any show or movie involving Gracie. Our uncle would do this in an especially loud voice in order to embarrass his nieces and nephews in public. That was his silly side.
In the ensuing years (his grown-up years we called them, because he was far less willing to do wacky things), we would see him only during holidays and reunions. He'd send us postcards, recommend books or look us up on social media sites. He was always traveling as part of his job, but that was our uncle - fiercely independent, never content to stay in one spot.
Uncle was always a lean man, carefully guarding his health for personal reasons and for his National Guard duties. So when the healthiest man in the family became ill, everyone was stunned. When the effects of brain tumors finally made his independence unwise, our young uncle stayed with relatives, much to his chagrin.
He indulged the nieces once when we offered to make a playlist of Burns & Allen radio broadcasts that he could listen to as he rested, but his interest in anything was waning. The time for frivolity had passed long ago. Some of us learned only after he had battled for his health (and lost) that Uncle LSP had been deployed to Iraq a few years ago without a word to anyone about it. He had a whole other life to which I was not privy.
Unfortunately, I knew only his silly side.
Veteran's Day 11/11
A special thanks to all veterans in the U.S. Armed Forces.