I no longer have any uncles. It’s an odd feeling, since we have a relatively good-sized family.
The last of my uncles was Boice Porth, who died Friday at the age of 92.
A life-long farmer, he was buried in his overalls; his last ride, from the church to the cemetery, was courtesy of a John Deere tractor.
Boice was a salt-of-the-earth kind of person and a good man, a hard worker and a generous person. He was the first farmer in the area to install an irrigation system on a farm and the first to grow collards year ‘round.
He was the one who had me picking cotton on his farm and also cutting grapes. I wasn’t very good at either, or at least it’s fair to say I wasn’t very productive.
He liked music and had a good singing voice, although most people didn’t know that. And he had a great sense of humor, but since he was a man of few words, not everyone knew of his humorous side.
Eleven years ago, when my dad was in his last hours, Mom asked me to call Boice to find out about burial space in the family plot of our church cemetery, since the space was somewhat limited.
So, I did. Boice’s only response about the burial plot was this: “First come, first served.”
After Dad’s funeral, someone commented to Boice, “I guess you lost a brother-in-law.”
Boice replied, “No, what I lost was a friend.”
That’s what the rest of us lost this week.