Chapter 1
From Not Everyone Can Claim An Uncle Tom by Grace & Peter Ireland (2002)

Uncle Tom

Ever since I can remember, Uncle Tom was always very thin with skinny legs and a stoop. His stoop got worse as the years rolled by and his hair gradually turned from a gingery colour to completely silvery blonde.

He had the loveliest, piercing blue eyes.

He must have weighed no more than 8 stone and was about 5'3" tall. When he wore shorts and working boots, his legs resembled knitting needles stuck in a jam tin. Wherever he went he was followed by his faithful dogs.

He was a very kind hearted man but always kept to himself. He seemed contented with his own company. He would do no one a bad turn.

His favourite exclamation was "Aw Gee" — always said so that people a mile away could hear. As his hearing gradually deteriorated, the "Aw Gee" was preceded by a just as audible, "Eh?"

Tom was a great practical joker and could see something humorous in nearly every situation.

He was an intelligent man, well read, who could conduct a conversation with anyone.

He loved music, could play the piano and was blest with a fine tenor voice.

Tom didn't own a watch but instinctively knew the time from the sun.

I loved him dearly, but when I was a teenager I never knew how to explain him to my friends.

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