It started with a dim memory from childhood. I was seven and the Groves family was holding a reunion at a park. This older man in a stylish suit arrived with a flourish. He was tall, white-complected, and looked like a variation on my Grandpa Roy.
“This is your Uncle John,” my mother said.
It was actually my great-uncle. I shook his hand.
“Pleased to meet you, son.”
“Don’t say yeah,” my mother prompted, “say ‘Pleased to meet you, too.'”
“Pleased to meet you, too.”
All around at the reunion, there were introductions, handshakes, jokes, laughter, and catching up.
A bit later, in a moment when everyone’s attention was averted, John took me aside.
“I have a gift for you,” he said in low tones, squatting down to my level.
Uncle John took out a maroon velvet cardboard box. I opened it up. It contained two new decks of…
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