Thursday, April 15, 2010

Uncle Arn

[caption id="attachment_1652" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Dave, Dad, Arn, Rick, and John. And Ray in the back."][/caption]

If you ever want to hear some great Placencia stories, then get my Dad and my Uncle Arn together. You won't be disappointed.

It's like listening to those old Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner recordings...the way they feed off of each other, reminding each other of details, and giving you sometimes two different points of view on the same story, which gives the listener a fuller idea of the big picture and what may have actually gone down. I spent some time living in Indiana and during that time I got together with Arn and his family and go to re-know them and who they are. Considering I hadn't lived in the area for about 15 years, it was nice to get the chance to re-connect.

When I think of Arn, an extremely random story always comes to mind. It took place at the annual Placencia Christmas Eve party back around 1977 or '78. I don't know why this story has stayed with me for so many years, but it has, and I still remember it like it just happened.

The family was gathered at my cousin Glen's house this particular year to celebrate and in the gift exchange I had received some comic books. I wasn't a regular comic book reader at this point (I had yet to discover Archie and Richie Rich) so some of the comic styles and shortcuts were new to me. In one particular panel, one character was talking to another, but instead of the usual cartoon bubble the words are in, this bubble was drawn with dotted lines instead of one solid line. (I learned later in life this means the character is speaking in a whisper.)

I called Uncle Arn over and pointed to the bubble (which said something like "I don't think we should be here!") and asked him what these dashes meant. Arn thought I was pointing to the apostrophe in the word "don't" and sat down to explain to me about contractions. Even though I already knew all about contractions from school, I was so taken and appreciative of the fact that Arn would take time out from being with The Adults to explain to me how "do not" becomes "don't", I didn't have the heart to tell him that wasn't what I meant. I didn't care that I hadn't made myself clear to him, I just thought it was neat that he would sit down with one of The Kids and make time for me.

You know how they say spending time with a kid can have an impact? In this case, it's true, and the fact that I still remember this story to this day is proof. It wasn't what he told me, it was the fact that he took the time.

I'm glad to say that hasn't changed about Arni. When I was in Indiana, I got to see him at church working with the youth group and it was inspiring to see. If someone has a concern or a question, Arn takes the time to talk. He encourages and welcomes open communication and there's nothing you can't bring to him. He accepts you in love and is quick with a reassuring word.

Who knew a quick grammar lesson would stay with me the way it has? I like to think Arn did.


Uncle John said...

Arni is a symbol of Love, I'm sure of it. Arni has been special to me since childhood, but especially in adulthood He is patient and does take time to help anyone. He has a wonderful family and this in itself is credit to what a good person he is. His daughters (its all he produces) Gena, Nikki, Logan and Jordan are all so special (well mannered, beautiful and spiritual). Then of course the main woman in his life is his wife Kelly who is just like the daughters. I was priveledged to be the best man at thier wedding and also (years later) lived at their house in Auburn and always felt welcome . Arni makes you feel at home and he does answer questions and is a great listener. Ater spending time with Arni you feel so much better than before and you get the feeling you can do anything. I love you bro..Good job Eddie!

Gena said...

LOL! Yes, the stories! My dad has begun to share these stories with my girls! Let's hope one of them doesn't ask "How are babies made?" like their Aunt Nikki did and while I had to sit through the painful and embarassing explanation as my dad just laid it all out there for sweet little Nikki (who was horrified by the way). Hopefully he'll leave that task to me! ha! ha! (or maybe that isn't such a bad idea) Nikki and I had so many wonderful adventures with our dad. He really is such a kid at heart and plays with my kids like he's a young father instead of a grandfather! My kids LOVE spending time with Grandpa Puck! We just wish he didn't work so hard and could visit more often! Love and miss you dad!

Alice said...

Arni, Arni, Arni! What can I say, he is special in every way! Remember when I got hit in the face with a very hard snow ball by Stanley Stover - he had no idea (nor did I) that Arni had witnessed what happened. All I can say is that Arni showed his protective instincts without having to lift a finger - Stanley knew he had gone too far and punished himself. Arni has strong protective instincts when it comes to family, but he can maintain a calmness and get his point across. He was a great son, brother and father. Just look at the girls he helped raise into great, confident women! Love you Arni!