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Uncle Buck (standard:fantasy, 2565 words)
Author: Alpha43Added: Apr 17 2005Views/Reads: 1761/1232Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
a country girl is excited to travel to a large city, even though it is to attend a funeral. She had never met the deceased, but leaves the wake with a fairly thorough knowledge of “Uncle Buck.”
 



Uncle Buck 

I have never been to a big city before. This is great fun and a little
scary at the same time. I have seen the TV shows, NYPD, L.A. Law, and 
even Miami Vice, and I have thought how great it would be to go to 
these places, never expecting I would get a chance until I was grown 
up. I am getting a week off from Mrs. Elston’s fifth grade classes and 
I am going to a big city. 

Some of the larger High Schools take Senior trips to big cities. Last
year the senior class went to the Vlasic pickle plant and the Pioneer 
Sugar Company in Bad Axe, and then went to a concert in Midland, 
Michigan. I hope when I get to be a senior, we can do better than that. 
But even if we don’t, I can always say that I have been to Chicago! 

This is supposed to be a sad visit, a funeral. Uncle Boyd “Buck” Graham
has passed to ‘The great Con Game in the Sky,’ as Grandma puts it. It 
seems that after all the years of fearing a violent death from playing 
‘bait and switch’, ‘3 card Monty’, and the ‘Pigeon Drop’ on the general 
public, Uncle Buck got run over by a bus. 

My father got the call on Monday, telling him that his oldest brother
had challenged the ‘B Line Special’ and lost. By Tuesday morning we had 
left Willow Run on, of all things, a Greyhound, and by 6 PM, we were 
amongst the mourners at the Callahan Funeral Home in suburban Chicago. 
Dad was pretty quiet during the trip and his eyes looked like he might 
be getting the flu. 

We are not in downtown Chicago, but in an Irish suburb called O’Shea.
There are lot of churches, bars, restaurants that specialize in corned 
beef and cabbage, small manufacturing plants, but mostly houses make up 
O’Shea. 

People everywhere, I never saw so many people in my life. Traffic
lights, sirens, horns honking, crowded sidewalks, street vendors; it 
was fabulous and exciting, except dad kept reminding me that we are 
here for a funeral, not attending the circus. 

We got off the bus at the O’Shea/Old Town terminal and my father walked
across the street to Mike’s Tavern and found our welcoming committee; 
Uncle Connor, Aunt Kathleen, and Uncle Pat having a brew and playing 
cards. We had to sit down and “take a load off” and “have something to 
clear away the road dust”, as Uncle Pat likes to say. 

We were told the services were on Friday, the wake is Thursday night,
and visitation is any time after 6 PM today. Dad wanted to get unpacked 
and settled in to Grandmas house, but we stayed at Mike’s for nearly 
two hours, I played darts with Uncle Connor. A lot of people came up to 
us and expressed their sympathy, but mostly they wanted to know how 
Grandma was doing, and they didn’t say a lot about Uncle Buck. Several 
times I heard things like, “I’ll speak no evil of the dead” and “we’re 
all lambs in God’s eyes”. 

Grandma Graham’s house was full of people. Some coming, some going, but
at all times it was full of family and friends. I was introduced to 
everyone, “this is Gloria from Michigan,” and after a while, I did not 
remember anybody’s name. Cousins, nephews, nieces, neighbors, old 
neighbors, people from the Lodge, the Knights, the Elks, the Moose; all 
concerned about Grandma, nothing much mentioned about Uncle Buck. 

I was excused and allowed to go outside and play with some of my Graham
cousins, with a warning about ruining my good dress. They were all 
friendly and told me about the O’Shea neighborhoods; the schools, 
churches, and the cool places to hang out. “Uncle Pat this” and “Uncle 
Connor that”, but again, nothing about Uncle Buck. I tried to get 
Buck’s name brought up, but everybody seemed to wander off when I 
mentioned him. 

I knew he had a bad reputation; kind of a swindler, a con man, he had
done his share of jail time, and “honest and hard work” was not in his 
vocabulary. Phrases like “never earned a honest dollar,” “keep your 
hand on your billfold,” and “Mr. Silver tongue” were heard when Uncle 
Buck’s name was finally mentioned. 

I had my choice of things to eat, as the house was full of neighborhood


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