Sweet Memories from a Strawberry's Heart

April 20, 2008 marked 3 years since my Uncle Reggie passed away from a massive heart attack at the age of 56. He was playing his weekly golf game with his buddies when it happened.

My relationship with my Uncle really developed when my parents and I moved to Florida from Tennessee when I was 12. He became like a second father to me and I loved spending time at my Aunt and Uncle’s house, especially during the summer months.

“If you’re going to be hanging around here, you need to earn your keep,” I remember him saying to me with his eyebrows raised as I skipped around the house in my bathing suit, hoping to make it to the pool before he finished his sentence.

And by earning my keep, he meant ironing.

Boy, can I press a mean dress shirt and slacks! When I was little he used to pay me $.25 for short sleeves, $.50 for long sleeves and $1.00 for slacks.

I now find myself doing things to celebrate what he loved.

I really enjoy visiting the tree that was planted in his memory – such a perfect representation of him - a lover of nature and being one with it. I also ran a race for him last year because he used to be an avid runner when he was younger.

Today, I decided to create a little mix that I feel is quite the reflection of my Uncle Reggie and of my Aunt Diane for that matter. My Uncle loved bluegrass music. These are feel good, spiritual, mostly bluegrass songs, that at times make my lower lip quiver and give me goose bumps on the top of my shoulders when I hear them.

I tell you - for me - there’s nothing better than spending a Sunday morning with the windows open, breakfast cooking, and string-pluckin’ vibrations resonating in the house and pouring up to the heavens.

The Old Church Yard – The Peasall Sisters
We Shall Be Reunited – Doc Watson
Gospel Ship – Joan Baez
I Shall Be Released – The Band
Angel Band – Ralph Stanley
Pilgrim – Steve Earle with The Del McCoury Band*
Daddy Sang Bass – Johnny Cash
Take ‘Em Away - Old Crow Medicine Show
Wildwood Flower – Randy Scruggs & Emmylou Harris
Amazing Grace – Jerry Garcia

*BTreotch first showed me this song and I never got to thank him for that. This is truly my Uncle's song. I played it for him when I visited his tree last year for his birthday.


Anonymous said…
my heart is filled with the sweetest feelings in this moment... I will atest to the outstanding relations that this family has, and I only wish that I could have met the firey uncle myself. I will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart for sunday afternoons pool side with Aunt D and sweet Stace Stace. Memories fade with time, but the feeling that were created shall never ever be forgotten. Much love my sweetest.
Pauly said…
Thanks for sharing.
BTreotch said…
very nice.. this has gotten me through a rough morning..

and, I'd never heard JG's Amazing Grace
Anonymous said…
I hear you talk about him and I wish I was around when he was! it truly makes me sad to hear you and Dennis talk about him and the wonderful times you all had with him.. Keep in touch your the only one in FL that knows we are alive!! love you and everyone there!!
mr. outdoors said…
Many years ago I was witness to the amazing relantionship you had with Reggie and I also grew up with his son. Both Reggie and his brother have inspired me in more ways then they will ever know. Your heart felt story has brought me to a time of going to el torreos for lunch. Spending afternoons at both reggies and his brother office in the afternoon and going to reggies house for pool parties on the weekend. This was a time I will never forget and more so the people involved. Thank you for sharing, Stacey you have always brought joy to everyone you meet. Thank you for being you, never change!
Anonymous said…
Mr. Outdoors - thank you so much for your kind words - I am sitting here trying to piece together your identity! :)

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