****my uncle, Mike, middle row on right w/ mustache
Their wedding was the first wedding I ever went to. I don't remember the church ceremony at all, but I saw pictures of the wedding so I know that it happened but ....maybe... I wasn't even there..... I should have been if I wasn't? I do remember the reception at my Grandparents house and the fountain outside in the courtyard that everyone was dipping their cups into. I think it was a champagne fountain but I cannot be sure. My aunt and uncle had the "perfect" wedding, everything in order just like its "supposed" to be.
I was told that in order for them to be married the proper way, with all of the blessings, my Aunt had to live a year away from home, away from him, to make sure this is what they wanted and that it would last. I am not sure why Charlotte had to do this when her older sisters and her younger one did not? That is a secret, I guess? They must have passed the test because they did get married with all of the bells and whistles and were even given land to live and build on , right down the hill from my grandparents.
I remember my Uncle Mike and his good looks and charm. I remember him making jokes, playing ball, lifting weights and swimming with us. I remember the way his eyes creased in the corners when he smiled............ and the nickname he gave me that I hated, "Petunia," he would say and chuckle......... I guess he meant like the "flower?" but all I could think of when he said it was "Petunia the Pig."
He was always so nice to everyone. My uncle was my idol, he sang in a band at night and worked during the day at my Grandfather's Drug Store, the P&C but always had time to "play" with all of the kids too. Even when he was "working out" he found a way to include us, the kids, he would use my cousin (kimmy) and I as weights and let us sit on his biceps as he lifted us up into the air giggling. He would not only join us in our water gun fights, but he would initiate them and hand them out for us to fight back. My Uncle Mike would even take up for us when we were punished "too harshly" by his standards.
I always raved about my Uncle to my mother and others, but I was quickly pointed towards his faults when I did. You see my mother always had a problem with other people, even family, getting compliments when she didn't. Somehow, I guess she thought, if you pointed out that a person had "acne scars" that would change the persons mind about how "good looking" someone was? I don't know what she thought , or didn't see..........how could anyone not see how "perfect" my Uncle Mike was?
As I grew older my Uncle Mike and his world appealed to me even more. My Aunt had joined the "band" which was now the "Harmon Drew Group" and they even made an album. I never knew that she could sing, much less in such a voice that was so "deep." My Uncle Mike, sang and played the guitar. They traveled all over and I understand even met Willie Nelson.........he autographed a shirt for them that was framed in their bedroom. I heard them practicing on a visit to their home once but I never was brought to a real show. I remember them playing and singing music that I liked, Steve Miller, ......... The Joker........... and they played that........well. The Band is still around, they are an area favorite, the "leader" is now a Judge. Even though my uncle left the group, I have looked them up from time to time. The Harmon Drew Group was dubbed a "super group" and inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in April of 2002.
My Uncle Mike, he had a great wife, talent, a good job, a perfect smile, a beautiful home and everything a person could want.........except children. I am not sure how old I was when my Uncle Mike and Aunt Charlotte divorced........ all I know is that I never got to say good-bye to him and all of a sudden I wasn't supposed to talk about him, ever, in front of my family. I was told that they couldn't have children and my Uncle Mike thought that "no children could be as perfect as his own" so he left to find a wife that could give him the "perfect" children. That's all that I was told, all that I knew and all that I know today. My Rock, My Foundation, the man I looked up to all of my young years was gone.............. vanished...........
to have his perfect children somewhere else.........I think maybe he went to Colorado but I can't be sure......where-ever you are Uncle Mike? ROCK ON! :)