In June of the year I was born, my mother’s younger brother, Pete Kirk, married his high school sweetheart, Nada Gibbins. This week they celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary. They live in a suburb of Nashville, and I recently returned from a week as their guest. They are approaching the big 80 in a couple of years. I am not sure how long I will be able to endure the rigors of cross-country travel.
When I was growing up, their home was always a safe haven for me. I never doubted I was loved and welcome there. My whole life they have been there for me as my Plan B. No matter what happened they were there to help pick up the pieces.
When I was young it seemed in every family there was an aunt who gave haircuts and home permanent waves. Nada is that aunt. She cut everybody’s hair. While in Nashville, I had her give me a haircut. The nostalgia of her giving me a new shorter summer-do was fabulous.
Pete helped keep the piles of junk that my mother and I drove on the road. He could fix anything. He was part of my family triad that worked at Quality Dairy. Daddy arranged a part-time job in the milk bottling plant when Pete was still in high school. My mom’s brother-in-law, Curtis Banks, worked in the office and daddy delivered milk house to house...