Thank you, Cynthia. Uncle Math died just before I would remember him. My favorite pic of him (which I need to dig out) is Uncle Math holding my 3 yr. old brother in his lap. If I can find it, I’ll share it.
My mother, a teacher, said Uncle Math would have been what educators called in the in the 70s TMR, Trainable Mentally Retarded, though that would very un-PC today. In any case, he did work he farm, both his father’s and Grandpa’s.
In the 50s or 60s, Uncle Math would sneak away on Sundays to a little African-American church in our neighborhood. They called him, “Mr. Underwood,” which pleased him to no end. They allowed him to sit up in the chancel area during services. He didn’t do this often, as it was “the times,” you know, and Grandpa discouraged him from doing that. He got more respect from the African-American community than he did amongst his own. How sad.
My mother wanted to name me Matthew as I was born on Uncle Math’s birthday, but my dad nixed that. I think he felt the same about Uncle Math as some other folk. I would been rather proud to have carried his name.
BTW: My grandfather named his last mule “Jack.” I wonder if he was thinking back.