Will Dursens of CrossDove Writers

Hello Uncle Snaz,

I was thinking of you more often than normal recently for a couple of reasons – I recently got a major haircut and it is that time of the year, summer time, when I would have the most time with you growing up.

That haircut thing, well for whatever reason I chose to grow my hair out for just 15 days shy of one year and by gosh it was, I do believe, a bit longer than when I was in high school and I do remember because you always gave me a hard time about my ‘hippie’ hair.

So, when I went and had my hair chopped off to a more sensible, and wife appreciated, length I discovered something – I had what I call ‘Uncle Snaz’ hair. That’s right, when the barber finally got near the end of the haircut, he swung my chair around so I could look straight into the mirror and judge for myself whether he was doing a job that would make me and the wife happy, and there it was that ‘Uncle Snaz’ cowlick where the hair on the front of the head just seems to swirl up and out a bit. Of course, the haircut itself was to my satisfaction as well as hopefully the wife at home as well, so off came the barber bib and after making use of the holiday coupon my son-in-law bought me – I was off to the house.

1992_Snesrud_Hustin-Snaz And yes, here it is some six weeks later Uncle Snaz, and so many of those early morning looks into the mirror I think, ‘WOW, I have that Uncle Snaz look this morning’.

Now be sure to know it is not a bad thing Uncle Snaz that I refer to it as the ‘Uncle Snaz Look’, because I say it out of respect and out of one of my fondest memories of you and your own personal part of life.

Of course part two, of why I think of you so often this time of the year is the fact that I spent so much time around you and Aunt Hulda with our visits to Rapid City and then our month-long vacations working on the property and cottage my Dad was building just upstream from your own place, the one we called ‘Snazzy Acres’.

While I know my health did not cooperate sometimes those summers, there is no doubt that you and Aunt Hulda so enjoyed us nieces and nephews being around, and I just want you to know that we felt the love and concern over my health, even as I grew older and became a bit more of a ‘chain puller’ with you about politics and all.

Remember the summer they were going to nominate George McGovern to run for President and I was taking it all in. Remember you and I being on the nearly finished roof of my Dad’s cottage, on the side that looked or dropped straight down about 20-feet into the brook bubbling by. I remember because it was up there that you looked at me with a deadpan look and referenced a question about whether or not I was seriously going to support a ‘communist’ like your own South Dakota Senator McGovern.

Of course at first, I was startled that you would even consider throwing such a question at your 16-year old nephew, especially on the roof of the cottage. I do remember my response that may have had a touch of sarcasm (was many of my responses back in those days) as I looked at you, glanced down over the edge of the roof line at the bubbling brook 20-feet below, then back at you and after another quick glance down below I simply remembering replying with something to the effect of, ‘now Uncle Snaz, you know the family rules – no discussion of politics up here around Snazzy Acres, and least of all while sitting on a roof some 20-feet above the ground’. With that, you broke into that awesome smile you have and thundered into that hearty, raspy Uncle Snaz laugh.

I love you Uncle Snaz, but I always knew some things just were not discussed with you.

But those last few summers before I was old enough to have a job and stay home in Minnesota, the times we had riding back and forth from Snazzy Acres in that antique tractor and trailer to the edge of ‘D’right Place’ (my Dads property) to drop another load of rock to fill a deep gulley so we could even get onto the property. Many times, this time of year I so wish we could go back in time and re-experience those wondrous times we around being around you and Aunt Hulda.

For now, I just wanted to drop you this line and tell you how much more than normal you were being thought of these days and why. Maybe I will drop you another line sometime soon and say thanks for many more memories you left behind in my never-ending drawers of reminisces like your awesome cool pink house in Rapid City, those dinners and times of sharing, the old little green cabin that used to be the main building on ‘Snazzy Acres’, your outhouse and of course you and I being around old Uncle Emil at his place, ‘Wulf’s Den’, between your property and my Dads.

For now, I say thanks Uncle Snaz – thinking of you with much love and cherished memories.

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