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Reflecting from my office across the dealership at Sierra Motors in Jamestown I ofton wonder what little things in my life took place to lead me to become a GM.
I’m sure with a smile in my heart this is one of them.
We all have experienced disappointment at some point(s) in our lives. Friends, relatives, parents or children, not to mention jobs, athletic endeavors and relationships, all have their pitfalls. But do you remember your first disappointment?
As I grew up my Dad set a great example by having an excellent work ethic. He was never unemployed and always provided for our family. In retrospect, I always knew that my Father was very fortunate to work for a good man. Things were different back in the 60’s. Guys that worked together seemed to do family things together.
My dad’s Boss was Jim. It seemed to me as a kid that Jim was family. My Dad went and spent everyday with him at work and our families did things together on evenings and weekends. I even called him “Uncle Jim”. It never crossed my mind as a child that it was any other way.
I walked out of Jim’s front door, to go into his garage, where he and my Father were working on some project together. I heard Jim say to my Dad “I sure like it when Eric calls me Uncle Jim”. My five year old mind and body froze. I couldn’t even think of all of the ramifications of that statement.
On the way home, I asked my Dad, “Why did Jim say that he like me calling him Uncle Jim… isn’t he”? In my mind I addressed all of my Uncles and Aunts in the same manner. Weather it was Uncle Bill or Aunt Pat, it was their relationship followed by their first name. Then the bomb dropped. My Father told me, “He’s not really your uncle you just call him that.”
I couldn’t believe it. I had been duped. I knew that I would never call him Uncle Jim ever again. I was so disappointed!
I must have gotten over it soon though, as I happily spent time with Jim over the years. We did things like fishing together. When I was having trouble learning to water-ski he yelled out from the boat, “Ride it like a skate board” and I did. My back foot was sideways for the first summer of skiing. For some odd reason, he called me “Chicken Kid” and I called him “Chicken Man”. He still influences me to this day.
But, I really thought he was my Uncle. And at the end of the day it’s not blood it’s the heart. I love you uncle Jim…I mean chicken man…