Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?
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Community Lounge, Introductions and General Discussion Discussion, Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life? in General Discussion; I was thinking this evening about how lucky I was to have an aunt who really made a difference in ...
  1. #1
    orconn's Avatar
    orconn is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?

    I was thinking this evening about how lucky I was to have an aunt who really made a difference in my life. Then I realized, coming from a family that included 26 aunts and uncles, how really lucky I was to have this big family and generous family.

    I didn't think much of it when I was growing up, because family members were spread all over the country and overseas. But now when I think back I realize that in their visits and my visits with them they really honestly enjoyed my company and were willing to give of themselves. Their stories and thoughtful advice I cherish to this day.

    While each of them were, they are all but gone now, special in their own way, one particular aunt really stands out.

    Like all her brothers and sisters my Aunt Toni was born into an intellectualy gifted family of moderste means who all lived in a converted dairy factory outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She like many of her sisters received her degree, and then another one from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She had a masters degree in Latin and taught hig school for couple of years before finding her real career in life.

    At one point before the war, she moved to the East Coast and worked in a millinery show. AS the 2nd World War came to a close she started designing and manufacturing her own line of women's clothing. In a very short time she became one of the leading fashion designers in the U.S. a position she held throughout the 1950' and '60's.

    I t wasn't because of her fame or the wealth that came with it that made her one of my very relatives. It was because at several different points in my life she was willing to take time to counsel me on what I needed to do and achieve in life to accomplish what I thought were my goals.

    While Aunt Toni came to our house in Pasadena several times for Christmas, it wasn't until my family moved the East Coast that I really got know her and enjoy some of the trappings of the very successful in my own life. She was always there if I needed Broadway show tickets, especially if they were hard to come by, and would enjoy having me visit her showrooms and clothing factory in New York City. She also was wonderful in giving neat gifts of things that were only really available in stress in New York, not just to me but to all of us 44 first cousins.

    But what I remember most were the times she spent alone with me early in the morning before any one else up at her house. It was then I would ask advice and she would give me her best shot at what I should do. Whether it was to choose French over Spanish as my high school language (she highly recommended French because if all my other potential uses for the language, at least I would be able to read a menu in a French restaurant) or what I should study in college.

    I recently ran across letters of encouragement and family love that she wrote to me while I was in East Africa and Vietnam. Little did I know, when I received those letters, that she herself was dying of heart disease and when I would finally come back to the States she would be gone.

    Of all my aunts and uncles, it was Aunt Toni who kept the letters of support all through the Vietnam years when so many were hostile to those who served. One of her step sons and I were the only ones out of all the first cousins that served in the military during this period.

    She was a hard headed business women and like many in my family, tended to drink too much, she was glamorous (she and my uncle bill were among the first to be allowed to buy a Continental Mark II in 1956), but she was also very caring and ever willing to expand my world view ..... she was my own personal Auntie Mame!

    I hope you will share some of your stories about a special family member with us.

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    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
    Hoosier Daddy is offline Moderator
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    Re: Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?

    Quote Originally Posted by orconn View Post
    Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?
    Yes. But modesty prevents me from saying how great my only uncle is. Both my parents were only children and I so missed having any aunts or uncles while growing up that I married my step grandmother's younger (by ~25 years) sister's daughter. I'm not into genealogy but I think that makes me my own uncle. We were only married for a year in the 60's (she hated military life) but I think uncles are forever.

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    I~LUV~Caddys8792's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?

    Two of my uncles on my mom's side were GM mechanics and car guys through and through. They helped form my love of cars from a young age.
    "They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues."

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    Re: Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?

    One of my uncles on my Dad's side, 4 years back, died of Colon cancer. I think he knew he was on his way out for some time, because he contacted Dad 6 years back outta the blue, and seemed to close up any lingering issues they may have had, and they seemed like old buds near the end. He also made an honest effort to get to know us kids. I greatly respect him for that, and am glad I got to know him.

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    Re: Anyone have a special aunt or uncle who made a difference in your life?

    Two of my mom's siblings were a big presence in my life. Aunt Margie, my mom's sister, lived 7 houses down from us. Although she worked full time as an independent realtor, she also took care of my grandfather, who lived with her. She built her business on her own after her husband died suddenly and left her near bankrupt. She would drive from the San Fernando Valley all the way down to the Salton Sea to sell resort properties in the mid-1960s, before the interstates had been completed, as well as selling private real estate in LA. She was always very proud of being in "the real estate" as she put it, and she was good at it and very successful. She rewarded herself by buying a new 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, silver with a black top and black brocade cloth and leather interior. She traded that in 1979 for a new triple baby blue Fleetwood Brougham d'Elegance with that awesome velour cloth interior and silky fur-like carpet. I used to love bringing the car to our house, washing and polishing it, and then driving it back down the block to her place. OK, I didn't have a license yet, but the neighbors never seemed to mind! :shh: When she wrecked the 79, she bought a 1987 Fleetwood d'Elegance, which I liked a LOT more than my parents' 1987 Olds 98 Regency. Aunt Margie would put me and my siblings to work around her place and at the apartments she owned. It wasn't uncommon in the summer for her to abscond with me for an entire day of running errands or sitting with her on an open house. Now my Uncle Austin, my mom's older brother, was also a self-made man, getting his engineering degree through night school on the GI Bill after WW II. While supporting his beautiful French war bride and their young son, he founded his own engineering firm and machine shop, doing contracting work for the many aerospace companies in Southern California at the time. He designed and patented many component structural parts for military aircraft, at least one of which is still in use today. Uncle Austin worked six days a week, 14 and 16 hours a day, for nearly 50 years, all to support his family and give them everything his immigrant parents never could give him or his siblings. His three indulgences were his scotch, his cigars, and his Lincolns. He started driving Lincolns in 1963, when he decided Cadillacs lacked the quality he desired in a fine car. I remember his triple yellow 1975 Lincoln Continental. It was huge, and with Aunt Margie's 69 Fleetwood took up most of the driveway when the two would come over for a Sunday visit. He traded that for a 1985 Lincoln Town Car, two-tone white over dove grey with a white top and light grey velour interior. I got to drive that car a couple times, and remember thinking was a dog it was compared to our 77 CDV or Aunt Margie's 79 FWB. He gave up Lincolns after his 1995 Town Car, as he didn't like the early 2000s restyle and decided if cars were going to look like blobs, he'd at least save his money and buy a cheap blob, which he did in the form of a used Lexus ES300. Uncle Austin and Aunt Margie both showed what it meant to work hard and earn the things you have, but also to look out for each other and take care of those who couldn't make it or were going through a rough patch.

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    I had a very special great uncle (Fathers mothers brother). When I was 10/11, my parents were going through a really bad divorce, and I didn't want to be with either of them. Uncle Joey took me in for ~9 months. He was my favorite uncle before that, but living with him made us that much closer, even though I did NOT make life easy for him. At the time and under the circumstances, I was depressed and angry fairly often, but he never gave up on me.

    Around that time, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. My fathers brother donated half of his liver to him, but it came back again a year or so later. He was the first close family member that I lost, it was VERY hard on me.

    Before all that, uncle Joey, and my fathers mother and sister took me to Disney land, and my uncle and grandmother also bought a condo in Florida that we vacationed at a couple of times. He was always doing one thing or another for it with me.

    Uncle Joey was also a big part of my fathers and his brothers and sisters life. My fathers parents got divorced when they were young, and he was always around. Though as more of a friend/big brother than a father figure. Later, my father and uncle owned a house together before Joey moved to florida for a few years. When I was little, my father also worked at the liqueur store that uncle Joey owned.

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 77CDV
    Aunt Margie
    Hey! I have one of those too. My uncle Joey's sister. I've actually never heard "Margie" used for Margaret outside of my family.
    77CDV and talismandave like this.

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