John Wright McMurry: My Granny’s Brother

This entry is part of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series.  This week’s prompt is Brother.  (To see other posts in this series, view my 52 Ancestors in 2019 index

My “Unk” – John Wright McMurry, December 1981

Photograph of John Wright McMurry, December 1981, digital image, privately held by John Dewey Horne, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Louisiana. Photo taken by John or Gwen Horne during Christmas celebration at home of Ethel McMurry Horne.

I only knew one of my granny’s brothers, my great-uncle John Wright McMurry. Everyone else in my family called him “Uncle Wright,” but I affectionately shortened it to “Unk.”

Unk lived with my grandmother in her house trailer on our property. Every afternoon when my dad came home from work, he, my mom, and I walked next door and had coffee with Granny and Unk. The only distinct memory I have of Unk is burying my face in his rust-colored recliner anytime he got up to refill his coffee cup. I thought if I couldn’t see him, he couldn’t see me — and that was a fun game of hide and seek for a toddler.

Unk died when I was three years old. I don’t remember any details, just lots of food brought to Granny’s house and my wondering where Unk was. Now that I’m older, I realize how amazing it is that I have any memories — even faint ones — of him.

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