"You are only as good as you want to be," he would tell me. That was my Uncle Rudy.
My uncle was a very important figure in my life during my younger years. He taught me
a little bit of every thing. This included how to cut the grass on his riding lawn mower,
how to plant a garden, how to build a fire properly, and the pleasure of relaxing with a
book at the end of a day. Whenever we would go to Kentucky to visit my Grandmothers,
I would visit my uncle. This happened at least every other month and always during the
holidays. I looked forward to these trips, not only because I would see my Grandmothers,
but also because it provided an opportunity to visit my Uncle Rudy.
It was at his house out in the countryside of Kentucky where my Uncle Rudy lived that he taught me how to mow the lawn.
He permitted me to operate his riding lawn mower to do the final cut of the grass around the house. It took me quite some time to do this. I had to learn how to raise the blades. Further, I had to learn how to operate the mower at a sufficiently slow speed that the blade would cut the grass, rather than just chop it up. In the spring my uncle would also let me help him to plow the area for the garden with the tractor and then to plant the different vegetables for that year's garden. As the year progressed, I would go out to the garden, whenever I came to visit my uncle, to pick such various items as tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes. Then, I would bring them in to the kitchen be cooked, or canned, or just...