I had two great uncles. Uncle “Bob” is an uncle by marriage to my Dad’s aunt, “Min”. Uncle Phil was a brother to Min.
Uncle Bob lived in Norridgewalk, and Uncle Phil lived down the road a ways from the family farm where Dad grew up.
One very hot summer day when I was 17, I found myself out Uncle Phil’s way. I had been picking blueberries with my friend, TS. When the heat became intolerable, we drove to Uncle Phil’s farm to take a breather. Uncle Phil had been married to Josephine (Aunt Jo), who had passed away a couple years prior, and he now lived by himself in the big, old house.
After we had slaked our thirst and made some small talk, Uncle Phil said, “Do you like the marijuana?”
We looked at one another, TS and I, and I said, “Ummm. Why do you ask?”
“Because I have some.”, he said. Then he led us to the guest bedroom where, stacked under the bed, were multiple shoe boxes. He pulled one out, removed the cover, and showed us his booty.
It was, indeed, stuffed with homegrown. I said, “Uncle Phil! What are you up to?”
He grinned and said, “Nothing. Just wondered if I could grow it. You can keep that box.”
A couple of years after Uncle Phil died, I was at a family reunion, and Uncle Bob had my ear. He asked about my job, my life and whatnot, and it occurred to me that I didn’t really know what he had done for a living, so I said, “What about you, Uncle Bob? Do you still work?”
“Yeah”, he said. “I work-part time for the government. I’m part of that war against drugs thing.”
“Oh really?”, I asked, “What does that entail?”
“I’m a scout. I look for pot farms, mostly. I go up in planes and fly over different areas of Maine, or just drive around. Sometimes, I’m just walking through the woods. If I find something, I report it.”
“HOLY SHIT”, I said to myself.
To Uncle Bob I say, “Wow, that’s so cool! How long have you been doing that?”
“Oh, about 7 or 8 years.”
Uncle Bob’s scouting career definitely overlapped Uncle Phil’s pot farming years. Was Uncle Bob purposely not reporting Uncle Phil? Were they in cahoots to become the home grown drug lords of Maine? Sort of like Duck Dynasty with fewer ducks? And less facial hair? Or was Uncle Bob just not very good at his job? Was Uncle Phil growing pot to see if Uncle Bob could catch him? Or did he suspect that Uncle Bob was making shit up again? Or did he really just like growing pot? And finally, how well do you ever really know your relatives?
Since that day, I’ve carried a mental image of Aunt Jo and Uncle Phil smoking a fatty out on the back porch of the farm, while Uncle Bob flies overhead, binoculars in hand, reporting, “Nope, nothing to see here. Let’s head back.”
What were those two old coots up to? Are there any older relatives in your family you wish you had known better?
|These aren’t my uncles. This is from “Bucket List”. The sentiment is sort of the same, however.|