My dad's brother, Fred, was always known as "Speed". I have no idea why he was given that nickname, especially since he was the slowest one of the brothers. I had an uncle who raced Indianapolis type cars. I had an uncle who raced motorcycles on flat track. After he was run over by most of the pack behind him, he turned to motorcycle hill climbing, another fascinating sport. My uncle Harry was not a racer of any kind, but he was the youngest in the family, and maybe the others wielded some influence in preventing his engaging in such dangerous things. Instead he lied about his age to join the navy, and was in the South Pacific somewhere when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. I guess he chose a different danger.
Anyway this is a story about uncle Speed. He told me that I should tell people that he was my "uncle Pud, my drinking uncle." I never remember him being sloppy drunk, but he liked to think he could hold more than most men who are still standing. I remember Aunt Jean in a condition incapable of pronouncing her words clearly. So when they got a pair of yappy lap dogs it was inevitable that they named them "Whisky" and "Soda". By and by Soda met her demise, and only Whisky was left. Well, my Aunt Jean told me this story about herself. One Sunday morning she walked down to the local liquor store to get the Sunday edition of the paper. She took the dog with her, of course. But she had mistakenly gone on this errand a little earlier than the opening of the booze emporium. When she arrived at the door of the establishment, several other people had come early too. Soon the proprietor arrived with the key, and opened the door. Dogs can be impetuous, you know, and so as soon as the door was open just a little, the dog raced into the store like a bullet. My aunt Jean, instinctively called out his name, "Whisky!" she yelled. To which the store manager replied, "Now there's a thirsty woman!"