|Hello Lori, Ron, Tracy, Mike and Steve -
My side of our Larkin family never had a chance to meet your mom and, except for aunt Maureen, never met your dad. That was our loss. From all we've heard, they
were terrific people. We would have liked them.
You never got to meet your uncle Maurice, and that is a loss. You would have liked him.
I can say that without any concern for being contradicted because Mo (as most people called him) was eminently likeable. Different
likeable in different ways. Some are smooth and urbane. Cary Grant comes to mind. Others are warm and charming like Dean Martin. Your uncle Mo was
disarmingly likeable. No matter what he did, no matter how irritating it was, you could not help but like him for it or in spite of it.
I'll tell you a story. You never met my mother but she was a pretty tough lady (she had to be to run a nursing home by herself and raise the four
of us). Anyway, it was Christmas. She was maybe 80 years old was living in Richmond with Aunt Maureen, Caitlin and Sean.
Your uncle Mo had come East to visit her and Aunt Elizabeth and I had gone down as we always did for the holiday visit. One night, all of us (except my mother) went out to
O'Toole's, which was (and maybe still is) a favorite bar of aunt Maureen's to partake of a little Christmas spirits. Before the evening was over, uncle Mo,
aunt Maureen, Caitlin, Sean, aunt Elizabeth and I had a few libations. (Sean was under age at the time and our designated driver so he was relegated to
Dr. Peppers). In fact we
had several libations. Possibly even one more than that.
When we finally got back to the house, it was maybe 3:00am and Uncle Mo was is in a festive spirit. So he starts singing Christmas
carols in the front yard and everyone was telling him to keep it down - not because he will disturb the neighbors -- because we're afraid he's going to wake up mother.
So what does uncle Mo do? He goes in the house and
turns up his volume and starts calling her to get up and come down. The rest of us are cowering in anticipation of the real scolding we know we are going
And you know -- she did get up and come down. And in two minutes he had her dancing around the living room in front of the Christmas
If any of the rest of us had ever done that, we would never have heard the end of it. But your uncle Mo could pull off
the most outrageous stunt and people would love him for it.
I miss him and I know your aunt Maureen misses him, and you would too had you known him.
Remind me at this time next year and I'll tell you about his generosity. It was as outrageous as his disarming charm.