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Captain Morgan 07-18-2009 03:06 PM

Uncle Wink died
He and Aunt Pug weren't blood relatives, but they were family.
We met them when my father took his first church in a town
in Duplin county NC. it's out east, it's a hog raising county,
most of the time, one of the top 3 hog producing counties in
the nation. I was born there.

My father actually took on 2 churches...both were so small, maybe
20 to 30 people each, that he would preach one sermon at 10
and drive over to the other church and preach again around 11:30.

He thought it best to combine the churches, but it was very controversial,
as traditional eastern North Carolinians were not and are not fond of change. My family was only there for a couple of years, but Dad was able to combine the churches. There were many folks who were very
upset and some left the church. Dad felt to heal the rift, we should move
on, and we moved to Morven NC.

However, as much as some folks did not like my father, others liked
him that much. There is a cross roads between Beulaville NC and
Chinquapin NC in the county. Beulaville was the big city...they have
a stop light.

At that crossroads lives a family. On one corner, Aunt Martha, sort
of the matriarch, had been there longest. Across the dirt road from her
was Uncle Charlie and Aunt Grace. Charlie, along with being a farmer,
also had a country and bluegrass band and has performed at the Grand Ol' Opry. He also toured Germany etc for the troops. He is now a North
Carolina state senator, known as the Singing Senator. He grew tobacco.

Another corner of the crossroads has Uncle Arliss, who raised chickens. I remember as a child walking into the looong white buildings with corn moving down conveyor belts, and hundreds of young chickens pecking away.

And on the other corner, was a small house with Uncle Wink and Aunt Pug. They both had jobs in town, had a garden (much larger than today's standards), and an old barn.

We were so close to these people that we'd come in the summertime
and spend a week with them. We'd stay with Wink and Pug in their
small house, their 2 children having moved out.

I've told the story of Wink taking me out to the barn one Saturday night
to get a ham for Sunday breakfast. Sunday breakfast was a sight.
Aunt Pug would make a huge southern feast of grits, real home made biscuits, red eye gravy, ham, sausage and bacon, eggs and I don't know what all....I just remember I couldn't try everything I wanted to.
She was also famous for her chocolate cakes...each year she visited, she
would add another layer...I think 13 was the record. Not only were they
delicious, they looked perfect. The woman could cook.

The story about Wink taking me to get the ham is a classic. We walked
out to this dusty old dilapidated barn, and he pulled on a string that
turned on a bare light bulb that illuminated the interior with a shaky light.
Also hanging from the ceiling was a big greenish looking hunk of meat.
He picked up a machete from all the farm plunder in there, and started
whacking away at the hunk. Each whack sent a shower of something like
sand on the dirt floor.

I asked him what he was doing...he stopped and told me he was knocking
the mold off of tomorrow's breakfast. My eyes were wide, and he said, that's a country ham...that's for breakfast tomorrow.

I said "I ain't gonna eat THAT!" He laughed.

I was wrong. Pug transformed that hideous thing into absolute

Wink died yesterday during surgery to clear blockages in his heart.
A lifetime of the best food you can imagine, the love of friends, family
and the Lord, service to all....the kind of man who made this country great during some of our most trying times, but yet a humble, unknown
person....just another American hero who hardly anyone knew about.

He was my "fake Uncle", but he was real family.

Bruce B 07-18-2009 04:09 PM

Sorry for your loss Cap'n.

Kloset BBQR 07-18-2009 04:10 PM

Sorry to hear of your loss Captain. Its hard to find people like Uncle Wink and Aung Pug today.

Griff 07-18-2009 05:31 PM

Cap'n you're discovering a part of growing old that I don't like -- that is out living dear friends. My condolences to you.

dollarbill 07-18-2009 06:24 PM

Sorry to here that Cappy. Sounds like he was a good man. Rare to find now a days.

Toby Keil 07-18-2009 06:58 PM

Sorry to hear about the loss Cappy. Our thoughts are with you, your family and friends.

wittdog 07-18-2009 07:01 PM

Sorry to hear of it Cappy...I love the story

bigwheel 07-18-2009 08:35 PM

Condolences Cappy. Drinking a toast to all them nice folks as we speak. Little praying too.


Hillbilly 07-18-2009 10:38 PM

Rite sorry ta hear that. Them old timers er gettin fewer all the time. Nice ifin they share some knowledge an don't take all there secrets with em. Sounds like he was a fine gentleman.

Sorry for the loss.

007bond-jb 07-19-2009 07:19 AM

Sorry to hear Cap

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