In memory of Melvin George Charles Fisher, my Uncle Mel . . .

My Uncle Mel died yesterday. I was very fond of my Uncle Mel. He always had a story to tell, and I can see him now, sitting in his chair, with his leg tucked under him, rolling a cigarette with Golden Virginia(I think) Though a lifelong smoker, he gave up suddenly one day: threw his tobacco and papers in the fire and never touched another.

I once played guitar at my nephew, Gareth’s wedding. I was well into my 40’s and had been playing since I was 15-16, but no one in my family had ever seen me perform in public. Afterwards Mel said how much he enjoyed it: I said thanks, and then added; “Well, it’s all your fault!?” He looked at me a little puzzled, not sure where I was going. I explained that if he hadn’t bought a guitar whilst he was in the Navy, and he hadn’t then given it to his son, John, then John wouldn’t have taught me my first chords on the guitar. He smiled at me and said: “Well if that was my fault, I’m proud of it!” so we had another beer. That was my Uncle Mel.

Goodbye, Uncle Mel.