My Favourite Window

April 3, 2011

The Lost Uncle

Back to work in the Skudder House. There's a cupboard my sister and I are clearing out, though cleaning is a stronger word for the operation.  Like many other repositories in the house some of the contents date back to the time my family first moved in - 1962.  My father's presence is still strong in this cupboard even though he died over twenty years ago.  There are car manuals and management text books; there are cameras and model aeroplanes: there are neatly folded newspaper recipes for jam and chappatis; there are land deeds and maps; Antarctic publications and a book of Dylan Thomas' poetry.  There is a sheaf of letters from a lost brother.  I have
heard the story often enough: of Uncle Lionel sailing to NZ many years ago, but my father not being able to make the trip to Lionel's port of call.  And then Lionel seems to have disappeared from the Family's awareness.  I would have liked to have met him.  He writes a good letter, filling in Derrick on missing years and open-heartedly talking of re-establishing brotherhood: he was only a child when his eldest brother left home. One of the letters finishes with a 'kiss for the Kids.'  This personal connection pricks the back of my eyes, but when I Google Lionel Hobby all I can find is references to model trains!


Englishkiwi said...

Sister, I also found dad's backpack complete with first-aid kit, whistle, compass, leg warmers and more. He would have known what to do in these times of natural disasters, after all, he was a trained civil defense volunteer. Ing

Jeneane said...

Yes, he was a real Rennaisance Man, our Dad. Pity I didn't understand that while he was still alive.