This is the first in a series called “Say Uncle”. When I was writing the “Aunts Chronicles”, I realized that they were not complete unless equal time was given to those special men that I call my Uncles. So today we start the “Say Uncle” series with Aunt Lina’s guy known as Uncle Sal.
There he is. Standing in the middle of a crowded room with no little attention from his friends. They were all at this going away party because Sal and Lina were heading off to France on assignment with the United States Air Force. It was WWII and everyone was doing their part.
I remember how handsome he was in his uniform. No wonder Aunt Lina couldn’t resist when he asked for her hand in marriage after such a short courtship. Uncle Sal was good looking for sure but, once you were graced with his presence in person, you were a fan. Some said he put them in mind of movie star William Holden but it was that smile and personality that drew you in to want to know him. He could talk a chicken into buying eggs. That is not to say he was a salesman because he wasn’t. He just could talk to you as if everything and everyone else had suddenly disappeared.
As little girls, my cousin and I looked forward to Aunt Lina and Uncle Sal coming home on furlough. Since they had gone to France, he had taken to calling us on the phone and, with his “fun French”, would carry on conversations with us as we would giggle constantly. We were oblivious to the fact that an overseas call was very costly. We had too much of a good time talking.
When they arrived home, I am not sure if it was his good looks or fun ways that made us scurry around and peer at him around corners and from behind the furniture but he always saw us. Sometimes he would call us to him and speak about France and what was for dinner all using his new language. And we were a captive audience.
Interestingly, he could light up a room the same as Aunt Lina. They each had a smile full of love. Uncle Sal loved Lina and his family most of all. He had many friends all over the world. He liked his pasta almost as much.
Thanks for the memories, Uncle Sal