Did he go fishing barefoot? Did he play football or was just a water boy or maybe was a star pitcher with a super fastball? Did he excel in school? Was he a bully? Was he a momma’s boy? Did he beat up his brother or did he mentor him? Was he interested in music? Did he meet that sweet girl down the street and have indecent liberties with her in the backseat of his roadster? Did he ask her father for her hand? Did he follow his father’s instructions or was he a rebel? Could he cook? Could he write? Was he successful in business or just a wanderer? Did he get married? Did he have children who would be or would have been my cousins? Did he shave with a straight razor or an electric? Did he use the same aftershave as his brother? When did he leave home? Why did he leave home? Did he ever return? What did his father tell his brother about him? What did he present to or take away from the family dynamic? Did he ever go to jail? Was he healthy or sick? Did he work with wood crafting? Did he repair his car? What size shoe did he wear? Did he ever buy a house? Was he ever in Europe? Was he overwhelmed by his brother’s semi-fame? Did he die young or was he just forgotten by his brother? Were there troubles between brothers? Did he owe money? Did he slam the door to the family name? Did he embarrass himself? Did he work in a small grocery store? Did he fit shoes? Did he drink? Did he smoke? Did he have an affair? Could he swim? Did he find love?
We all have an Uncle Billy; that guy in a photo that is described by a name written by someone’s hand on the back of a photo but without a familiar face.
I never knew my Uncle Billy.