Uncle Alton was a big man with a jolly spirit and a big heart. He would have given the shirt off his back to someone else in need. Lord knows he helped Charles and I a time or two during our struggles way back when. During my pregnancy with son Ryan, Charles was laid off from work in the oilfield. Uncle Alton was building his home in Goss at that time and employed Charles to do general labor and paid him cash each week- that helped us through a tough time until Charles returned to work. It has been said that Uncle Alton was often too generous, freely giving money to those in need.
He thoroughly enjoyed large family gatherings which he sometimes hosted at his home. He enjoyed cooking for the family and the satisfaction of watching everyone enjoy their meal. He particularly enjoyed fried turkey during the holidays. I remember one year Charles fried up six turkeys at Uncle Alton's request because he wanted to make sure everyone had plenty (and he wanted a couple left over to bring home with him).
Uncle Alton could also be a big clown when the mood struck him. He enjoyed teasing others and pulling pranks. I recall one instance when I had pulled into a gas station with my two young daughters Crissy and Cherie. Crissy was 3 years old and Cherie was 1 year old. I intended to quickly run into the store and purchase a pack of cigarettes. When I came back out to the car, only Crissy was in the car. I asked her where her sister was. She replied, "Some man took him". Can you imagine the fear that raced through my soul at that time? I frantically scanned the parking lot with my eyes, looking for my baby daughter. I asked Crissy if she knew the man. "It was a big man, Mama". Oh, the thoughts that raced through my mind! Moments later, here comes Uncle Alton from behind the store with Cherie in his arms. He was laughing his butt off. At that moment, I didn't think it was funny- I wanted to choke him for doing that to me. But, I later laughed about it. The incident taught me an important lesson- never leave my kids alone in the car because they can disappear within seconds. I realized how irresponsible that was and I never did that again.
I loved Uncle Alton. We visited often, either at my place or his. He carries a special place in my heart and warm memories.