Opinion: On losing my dear Uncle Luther

Mark Kennedy / Staff file photo

I lost my Uncle Luther last month.

When I was a child, my dad's brother was a dashing Air Force officer who would occasionally visit our little duplex on the banks of the Duck River in Columbia, Tennessee. I remember he smoked sweet-smelling pipe tobacco and told stories that seemed straight out of the wild blue yonder.

As a career Air Force officer, he was stationed in places all over the world Germany, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines. When I was in sixth grade, I chose to make a report on Taiwan, and Uncle Luther sent me pamphlets for my assignment. This was decades before the internet made research a snap, and so his help - albeit by snail mail - was vital.