and, after Uncle Sam, that word brings to mind John Candy's portrayal of commitment fearing Uncle Buck. If you've never seen the movie, rated as a comedy, you should check it out.....I'm sure you'll love it
Personally, I think of my Uncle George. Uncle George was not actually my uncle (both my parents were only children), but he was definitely related though. He was my dad's mother's aunt's son and was within a few years of my dad's age. They felt more like brothers toward one another. Every other year we journeyed to Ohio to see him and his family and on the years we didn't go there, they came here. This man was genuinely loved by his step-kids, family, friends, neighbors, employers.....well, everyone loved Uncle George.
The story about him was a little shaded though. Seems as though he came into the U.S. by way of Canada. Once there, he was only a 'river away' from getting into the U.S. Seems as though he and a companion actually rowed across the Detroit River in the dead of night. They were very young....maybe 15 or 16 at the time. I'm not sure why he did this.....possibly something about his paperwork being incomplete. He managed to make his way to Ohio where he knew people that had promised to help him if he could get that far. He eventually got his paperwork straightened out, took citizenship classes, passed the test and became a citizen. He served in WWII, became a medic on the battlefields. After his honorable discharge, he began his education to become a male nurse. After graduation he secured a job working for a hospital where he eventually met the woman he married. She was a widow with five children. He married her and raised those kids just like they were his own. He loved children......and children all loved Uncle George, including me.
Uncle George lived long enough to make fond memories with my children too. My only regret is that we didn't live closer so that we could see him more often. Uncle George, of course, spoke with an accent and his voice was sort of softly hoarse. He sounded just like Marlon Brando's rendition of the Godfather. It became an inside family joke......saying that we were going to get "Uncle George" after you. Ha.....since my ex never met Uncle George in person, I think he was always a little bit unsure about what "Uncle George" may do if called upon. I never corrected his perception as I found it quite to my advantage. But Uncle George was a good man.....through and through.
Oh....and since we are on the subject.....does anyone know where that old saying, "cry uncle" comes from when you want to admit defeat in a fight? Just curious.