Greetings. Today’s blog is in honor of my uncle, Dean Hoffmeyer.
My Uncle Dean recently passed away. I didn’t know him very well…he was a bit of a loner and worked for Burlington Northern Railroad back in the day, so he also traveled around the country during my youth. The only times I ever saw him was Christmas Eve. He’d come to our house while the rest of the family was at church, stay long enough to get his fill of Christmas Eve dinner, give us our presents, then he’d vanish in the night for another year.
Uncle Dean was a very quiet, reserved man. During his visits, he’s mostly sit on the couch and channel surf. My mother wasn’t very fond of Dean, but what could she do? He was her husband’s brother. Dean never married and had no children, so my brother and I were his only neice and nephew and he was our only uncle, as my dad was the only other sibling of their family.
Here’s a look at how quirky my Unlce was: One Christmas, as usual, he had arrived while we were at church, filling our hearts with The Good Story, or so I thought back then, and after the service, my brother and I were anxious to get home. The faster we got home, the sooner we ate, the sooner we ate, the sooner we’d get to open our presents. Kids…..
Anyway, we got home to find a huge mound of presents under the tree. My brother and I were beyond exicted. I immediately got down to the ground and began sifting through our booty. Not only were there a large number of presents, they were HEAVY. Oh, how my mind raced at the thought of what might be inside these packages. I kept picking a box up and shaking it, trying to hear a tell-tale sound of something I wanted.
As you can imagine, eating dinner was torture and we could no longer contain our excitement. By then, my uncle had left and my brother and I were eager to start ripping into our very own Christmas miracle. I was dying of excitement as my brother passed out our gifts. After all the presents were given to their owners, the maylay began. I tore into the boxes, nearly soiling myself at the thought of what could possibly be inside.
I ripped into one box and stopped. I was dumbfounded. What the–? I can still remember my feelings and the look on my brother’s face as I turned to see if he had been stupified as I had. Yep. He had. To what horror had our little eyes brought to us? What could drain the joy out of children on Christmas Eve?
My uncle, ever so clever and the jokester, had only gotten one gift for our family that year, and it was for my dad, but Uncle Dean had wrapped each piece seperately and addressed the boxes to the entire family. What was it, you ask? My uncle had gotten my dad a tool bench and tools. Can you imagine the utter disappointment of young children as they tear open a box to find freakng tools?! Incredible. I was sure my life was over and was very cautious around my uncle from that day on. How dare he trick us! That bastard….
So, that’s my uncle in a nutshell.
The true testament to his personality came when he passed away. As mentioned before, Dean was a traveller and had acquired many things over his 67 years. He owned two houses in different towns and each one was stuffed to the rafters with his possessions. The day of his funeral, my dad took me to one of his houses, just so I could get a feel of what daunting task lay ahead of him in cleaning out the properties.
I have never seen so much stuff in my life. The floor was covered and the piles were a good four foot high. The only way to manuver through the house was through little paths that had been made in the junk. What kind of junk? You name it, it was there. My uncle was fond of HAM radio and computers, so one room was just that–walls of old radios, microphones, and headphones. The other wall had about 10 computers, all plugged in and running. In between were stacks and stacks of books, training manuals, and magazines.
While cleaning the houses, my dad told me that much of the things he found was still new in box and had never been opened. He also had a huge collection of dictionaries, and not the small Webster’s Dictionaries, either. We’re talking the huge behemoths set on pedastals in libraries. What would a man do with over 50 dictionaries? I could not believe my eyes.
Uncle Dean also had himself a nice little personal arsonal going. My dad found over twenty knives and daggers, a few cross bows, three sets of nunchucks, a Derringer pistol, and three semi-automatic rifles. What the fuck?! Crazy, just crazy.
I was down to visit my dad this past weekend for an early Thanksgiving and he wanted to show me the progress he had made in cleaning the houses. One house was done and ready, but the other still had a few rooms left, but for the most part, things were looking good. We came to the room that still needed to clean and I began poking around, hoping to find some unseen treasure.
I found an old cigar box and opened it up. Inside were tons of old keys and keychains, none of which were of use anymore. Apparently, Dean had been taking a correspondence course in locksmithing and just had a crapton of old keys. I was sifting through the box and something caught my eye. It was a metal keychain, and well, here it is:
Hilarious. I found it, said, “What the hell is this?!” and pulled the bottom of the keychain to make the figures engage in coitus. I fucking lost it. That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, and what made it all the more funnier, was the fact that this guy whom I’d always thought was reserved, had this “fuckyfucky” keychain. You best believe that I took that home and am going to proudly display it.
I also took home with me the nunchucks. What I’m going to do with them, I have no clue, but they’re just fucking cool to have around.
So that’s it. That’s my uncle for you. I take pleasure in knowing that when I die, someone is going to find this keychain and hopefully, have the same reaction I had when I found it.
It does make me sad, however, that I always thought of my Uncle Dean as a weird guy, because in death, I realized he was a pretty cool cat.
Thanks for the stuff, Uncle Dean…..