When he lay dying, I flew from New York to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he lived. I needed to tell him something. He was my uncle, my father’s older brother. Robert Goodman, aka Uncle Bob. I had grown up in the same town where he lived with my aunt and their four kids. I saw him often. He was tall, taller than my father, maybe six feet. He was a sweet man, smiled often and gave me the great gift of listening to me and talking to me as an equal.
Wonderful tribute to someone who made a huge difference in your life. Beautifully written and very moving. So much humanity and care in Uncle Bob. A lot of pain in that story too.
I'll be honest, this made me bawl. It's so touching to hear how your uncle supported you. I know it's been a while now, but I'm still sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing this. I wish more people had an Uncle Bob in their lives.
Yet another incisive and beautifully written essay, Richard. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us all; and thanks to your Uncle Bob for giving you the encouragement you've given so many other young (and not so young) writers. Be well.
What an exceptional story! How important it is for us when there are people who respect our writing and understand what encouragement means for us! Lucky you, Richard, and thank you to your Unkle Bob for being such a person to you. Who knows, maybe without him, we, your admirers, wouldn’t have a privilege of reading your wonderful stories.
And now I understand why you gave such a marvelous lecture on "Le Mot Juste."
Beautiful essay about Bob. You make me wish I'd known him.
Thank you for always managing to find “the right word”. Love this with all my heart.