When I was a boy, one of my uncles had a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. My family went there for parts of three summers, and I loved it!
My father, obviously, and my mother were inspirations. My uncle, Frank Harper, he was an absolute mentor for me.
My grandfather had been a newspaper reporter, as was my uncle. They were pretty good writers and so I thought maybe somewhere down the line I would do some writing.
My mother died when I was 12, and right after, my dad died in a car crash. I was 15 and had no family. The court sent me to live with my uncle and aunt in Missouri.
My uncle was the town drunk - and we lived in Chicago.
I'll say my dad couldn't act to save his life and nor can my uncle, and they'll say I'm the worst actor in the world.
King Arthur was one of my heroes - I played with a trash can lid for a knightly shield and my uncle's cane for the sword Excalibur.
I had a Ford F-250. It was a big ol' farm truck, but it wasn't a rig. That's about the biggest I've ever driven. That's what I drove back and forth to high school. I was a poor guy, and it was a truck that my uncle owned and let me drive because I had no money.
My mother adores singing and plays piano. My uncle was a phenomenal pianist. My brother John is a double bassist. I used to play the piano, badly, and cello. My brother Peter played violin.
My uncle was a hero, Lewis Roundtree. He was not even related to me really, but he was always called my uncle. He was like a father to me. I was closer to him than I was my father.
There is nothing on earth so easy as to forget, if a person chooses to set about it. I'm sure I have as much forgot your poor, dear uncle, as if he had never existed; and I thought it my duty to do so.
There was living in the palace at this time a brother of the great Germanicus, and consequently an uncle of the late emperor, whose name was Claudius Caesar.
Even to this day, when I think about the fact that I'm in this 'Star Wars' world, that I'm a half-brother to Darth Vader and an uncle to Luke Skywalker, it's too hard to wrap my head around.
It's my firm conviction that when Uncle Sam calls, by God we go, and we do the best that we can.
Spending two years on my uncle's ranch in Montana as a young man gave me the wisdom and the thrust to do westerns.
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