Uncle Stan

Uncle Stan Felix Bearden Stan loved to tell the story about me meeting him for the first time while sitting on the front steps of our house in North Highlands. 

"You must be Sister's new boyfriend." he laughingly recalls.

What he didn't know was how I knew.

Sister (as I always called her) seldom had boys call on her at home.  In fact, she had a unique way of terminating friendships with boys she didn't want to date.  When she came home with one she didn't like, she came via the Fountain Heights bus line.  On the walk from the bus stop to our house she had to come through a park next to Martin School which had, in addition to swings and a huge sand box, a wading pool which was at most about three feet deep.  The area was not very well lighted so it was easy for her to walk her undesirable into the pool.  After which, the prospective bow was made to walk down the rock steps in the park to 15th Avenue which was below our house.  Now in the light there was no problem.  However, in the dark you had to be very familiar with them.  The slope was not steep enough to require even steps so was made up of a series of steps interspersing ramps at an uneven spacing.  There would be three steps, a 10 foot slope, three steps, a 15 foot slope, 2 steps, a 20 foot slope, 3 steps, and a 10 foot slope ..., next to impossible to navigate in the dark except for Sister.  So the undesirable boyfriend would never make it to our house without being wet and having his dress-up cloths exhibiting evidence of at least one fall on those steps.

So when Stan showed up, dry, and with his cloths in tact, I knew he was not only new, but would be around for a while.

And he was... In addition to becoming the hero to Sister's little brother by serving in the Army during World War II and being awarded the Purple Heart. He became the favorite uncle not only to his family but countless children who visited him in his garage to have their bicycles, tricycles, and other toys repaired.  Not to mention the visits to his special door in the kitchen cabinets where he kept goodies reserved for them. 

At one of our visits, his son had a bicycle made of several frames, that required him to mount from a high wall.  He insisted in demonstrating that he could ride this contraption on a city street.  I remember that he was stopped at a red light and had to put his foot on top of a car until the light turned green.  This was just an example of Stans ingenious inventions for children and young people.  It was always a joy to visit his house to observe his solutions to normal household problems.

He was the "go-to" persons when our parents needed help.  Sons in law everywhere could do not better than following his example in their relations with their wives family.  

The world will miss Stan, one of God's foot soldiers in this world.