Don C. (my Dad) had a younger brother. Uncle A. was a really swell and funny guy. One of the things I remember most when I think of him, is him laughing. He always seemed to be in a great mood.
At least that's the way it seemed. I guess none of us can be laughing all the time.
But on visits to Uncle A and Aunt T's home, or vice versa, there was a lot of laughter (and good food).
My Cousin S. and I were just a couple of years apart, I was older, and Cousin A. was a couple of years apart from my Younger Brother, she was older than him. So S. and I would hang out, show off our latest comic books and Icee Super Hero Cups to one another.
Younger Brother and Cousin A. were young enough to play really well together despite them being boy and girl. They hadn't yet reached the age where the natural differences and diverging interests would lessen the time they would hang out and play.
On one trip to Bossier City, La., where Uncle A. and Aunt T. and their kids lived, Younger Brother became quite attached to a cheap plastic trumpet that Cousin A. had in her arsenal of toys. Younger Brother tooted on that thing until we all thought that we would go nuts.
And later, when we were on the way back to Monroe from our visit, we were treated to 90 minutes of (non)musical torture - Cousin A. had given said toy trumpet to Younger Brother. It took weeks for that boy to tire of that stupid toy trumpet.
A couple of months later, when Uncle A. and Aunt T. and the kids came to Monroe to visit us, Cousin A. became quite enamored with Big Sis's old high school pep squad pom poms.
We're not talkin' about those lame little bitty pom poms like college cheerleaders favor these days, these were a set of "sho-nuff" pom poms. They were big enough that on the underside of the pom poms, there was a handle to slip your hand into up to the thumb to allow a more sure grip.
And they made when shaken or rustled was a nice, loud Hiss, Hiss, Hiss.
That evening, when Uncle A. and Aunt T. and the kids headed back to Bossier City, the pom poms went with Cousin A. in the car.
Don C. got a call from Uncle A. stating that he could consider the "gift" of the pom poms to Cousin A. a suitable payback for the earlier gift of the trumpet.
It turned out, that within the confines of a car, 90 minutes of driving with the hissing sound of pom poms going non-stop in the back seat was almost enough to send Uncle A. and Aunt T. to the loony bin.
Don C. just laughed as if he planned it that way.
Note: The two pictures embedded in the post are of Cousin A. and Younger Brother at about the age this story took place. Dig that chain on the laundry basket ride they have there. Both 35mm slides were damaged pretty badly and I did what I could with them.