We have many interesting family members, but I’m going to pick one of my favorites. Uncle Lloyd. I could write for days about Uncle Lloyd. He was like a grandpa to me. Many people thought he was just a crabby old man, but I knew different. At age 9, I spent a week during the summer with him, Aunt Joan, and my cousin “Little John”. The next summer, it was 2 weeks. The final summer, was 3 weeks and my friends asked mom if I was ever coming home. Lloyd worked at Kayser Motors for many many years, but by this point in his life, he just did maintenance for them. He planted the beautiful Kayser flower beds every spring and each night, he closed up shop and put up the lot barricades. During the summer, John and I got to help him with his nightly duties. It always made us feel so important to help.
I remember so many little silly things about him, like when he’d come up to me and pinch the back of my arm really hard and say “How ya doing ya little brat?”. He always had a twinkle in his eye and I knew he was teasing, so I’d reply “How are YOU doing, you old fart?”. He’d chuckle and give me a big hug.
Lloyd was part of the reason for Brad’s nursery being a circus theme. Lloyd was part of the Zor Shrine for many years and I’d always seen pictures of him dressed as a clown for parades. You know, the ones that ride the little scooters. I always wanted to ride Lloyd’s scooter, which he kept at Kayser , but after one time that Little John crashed it into a parked car, Lloyd told me that little girls didn’t drive scooters. In Brad’s nursery, I had 2 framed pictures of Lloyd as a clown. I loved those pictures!
One last funny thought of Lloyd was the fact that he loved to sunbathe naked in his backyard. The only time he didn’t was when Little John and I were visiting. During that time, Aunt Joan would insist that he wear underwear, and John and I were forbidden from going to the back of the house. He loved sunbathing nude so much that he later shared a story about the time he went to a nude beach in Mazomanie. He was naked, laying on the beach, and got stuck. He couldn’t get up! He sheepishly shared with us the fact that he had to ask a passerby (also naked) to help him get up. Lloyd loved being nude so much that he was even buried naked. He was dressed for the funeral, but afterward, they removed his clothes so that he could enjoy his final rest the way he would’ve loved… Naked!
UPDATE: Since writing this – I’ve been sent a picture showing that I actually DID ride the Zor shrine scooter!! Who knew?!?!