I love you Aunt Bobbie…

In the summer of 1971 I returned home to the IL area with my wife Susie Mundinger-Yates. We traveled a nice route which included several of her relatives but also mine and a little tour of “places” that you show people trying to give them an idea about your early life.

I was 24 years old, a 4 year military veteran, was a licensed clinical professional, successfully returned to college, had been accepted to a California University in the fall, had a little money, driving a new sports car and married to a nice attractive woman. In short, I full of myself!

I sported hair then I would find longish today and a full red bed which I wore for several years. I was not doing this for some political statement or meaning, it was just me perhaps relaxing standards after a military stint. But at the time during the anti-war era, judgments were made about such folks and what they stood for based on appearance. Perhaps I forgot this as I made my way from California College to the Mid-Western culture.

So, I pulled into Chrisman, IL and parked on the square in front of the Drug Store where I remembered my Aunt Barbara “Bobbie” George-Yates worked. Almost immediately I could determine she did not recognize me so I altered my course and stopped at the revolving greeting card rack and started browsing the cards. A short time later she approached me and asked if I needed assistance which I said would be kindly appreciated. Without any recognition at all she was standing next to a 6’ 2” beaded beast that was looking downward into the eyes of his barely 5 foot tall Sweet Aunt; oh the moment was delicious!

I explained that I needed a special card for someone and it was important that the message be on target. So, we started through several of the cards and I read the Hallmark message out loud to her and asked if she could interpret the message behind it for me. I think she tolerated the first couple cards pretty well but I could see her frustration beginning to build and I’m thinking she is about to explode. I picked up the last one, pointed at the message as I leaned over towards her as if to ask her to follow along and as she leaned over I said “I love you Aunt Barbara”. She jerked away with a surprised look seemingly trying to understand; then all she could see was this big guy with his arms out to hug her telling her “it’s me Aunt Bobbie, your nephew little Ronnie Yates”. And then the hugging began in earnest and remains one of my sweet memories of an earlier time.


  1. Awesome story! So, so great. Giving surprises like that leave such a huge dent in the heart don't they?

    I think it's interesting that you have used the same back ground for your blog that I use on mine. Guess we really are related. LOL


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