WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT?

I had three uncles — was named after two of them:
RALPH RUSSELL.
At first I was called by both names.
When I reached school age my parents settled on RALPH.
By the time I joined the Navy
I thought better of RUSSELL.
Then that soon became RUSS. That’s what I wanted.
It seemed sexier to me.

My Uncle Russ saw be for the first time
when I was two years old.
I assume that I saw him also.

When I was ten I saw him again.
The second encounter was likely as brief as the first.

When I was fifty I decided another visit would be ok.
I knocked on the door of his apartment
He opened the door. I just stood there and so did he.
“What can I do for you?” he asked.
“I’m RUSSELL PEERY” I responded.
We stared at each other for a time– and then he said:
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT?
After hesitating he invited me in.
We talked awhile and as I left
we promised ro keep in touch — but we never did.
What stayed with me after our encounter was:
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT?
I’ve remembered that for forty years
and I’m still counting.

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