The favourite uncle

Our favourite Uncle George joins a toast to his 80th birthday.
Our favourite Uncle George joins a toast to his 80th birthday.

I remember the first time he spoiled us. My sister and I often travelled with our parents to New York City, where they had grown up. Until that time in the early 1960s, however, whenever we holidayed with relatives in the Big Apple, my sister and I had pretty much been turned over to our grandparents for entertainment and discipline. But this time was different. When we arrived, instead of the customary hugs and kisses from Yiayia and Popou (Greek for Grandma and Grandpa), there was this guy taking charge.

“Wanna go for a ride?” he asked us. And our Uncle George (my mother’s baby brother) led us to the garage to see his late model (early 1960s) Chrysler convertible. It was salmon coloured. It had these massive tail fins. It even boasted the most modern of driving conveniences – a push-button transmission. “Watch this,” George said. And he just pushed in the “D” button for “Drive” and away we went.