More on my Uncle Al

I can’t remember when I first met him as he has been apart of my life since the beginning but Uncle Al had the scariest looking hand I have ever seen. It was a big silver double hook that opened and closed.  And of course I and every other kid who saw it had to touch it eventually.   Because attached to that hook was one of the kindest most generous men I have ever met. He lost that arm to the elbow in Korea in the Chosin reservoir. I think that experience really defined him.  That and working 30 years in the steel mills to support his family. He had such a  love of life and beauty.  He had such great appreciation for both.   He was married to my Aunt Dorothy (RIP), my moms sister and when I was young they lived across a street from a pool!  I have previously mentioned this in writing on My Aunt Dorothys passing how truly awesome this was!  Plus my cousin Mike was  the coolest kid I knew because he was three years my senior and rode dirt bikes and shot fireworks.  He along with my Aunt took me on my first camping trip up to Camp Manistee Michigan. (My parents only camped at Holiday Inns) I got a black eye from a baseball and Geri Ann fell out of the canoe but it was a really great trip! I went canoeing and fishing and hiking and ate by the campfire and had SMORES!   He loved nature.  He loved bears, birds and the like.  When I first brought my girlfriend, now my wife up to meet Dorothy and Al (They really liked her)) he took us into Estes National Park.  We saw all sorts of creatures including a Moose who gave us the eyeball as he walked across the road in front of us.  He loved that stuff. He also loved to make breakfast.  You couldn’t say no because he insisted.   You never went hungry in the Dytkiewitz House.  Most of all he loved his family. Unconditionally.   He also didn’t suffer fools easily. If you were screwing up he would tell you.  Try to help you if possible.  He made friends easily and wherever he went.  He was a legend in the neighborhood. I’m talking about MY neighborhood.  He didn’t live anywhere near us and only visited a few times a year but he knew 99% of my neighbors and they would ask how he was doing and he would do the same. He was a teller of tales, lover of polish food and culture and always a Marine. He doted on his grandkids and was always there to help family.  I miss my Uncle Al but can only celebrate the life he so vibrantly lived.  He is with his beloved wife Dorothy now and I can only say Thank you for showing us how a truly lived life looks like. God bless.

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