Yella and Blackie had greyhound genes according to the stories from my parents. Yella had 'that look' and that speed. Yella loved to chase cars as they passed our house. He would dart in and out of the clouds of dust that always followed the cars as they drove the caliche coated roads. Blackie seems from my young child memories was a little shorter and stockier than Yella. Blackie did not live beyond about my fourth birthday. Blackie's early demise is why my memories are not as vivid.
Yella was my companion for several more years. He would come to the country school to get petted during recess. Mom was a bus driver so Yella would lie in the shade of the bus barn at times. I liked to use Yella like a slide. Pretty sure one of his ticks got into my hair and stayed a few days before Mom checked my complaint. In spite of her warnings, I continued to hug that dog that never had a bath. I can still recall the deep sadness and feel the sting of the tears the morning I found Yella stiff and dead. We were both nine years old.
As for Uncle Bud and Uncle Clay they lived into their eighties. And what brings these two men to my mind right now? Memorial Day here in the States. I could not have had two more wonderful, generous uncles. Uncle Bud with his black, curly hair and wry smile. Uncle Clay with his slick, bald head and twinkly, blue eyes. Both farm boys thrown onto the beaches of Normandy in the days following D day.
Uncle Bud crossing France on foot. Uncle Clay crossing France in tanks. Uncle Bud catching pneumonia during the Battle of the Bulge as his unit advanced with Uncle Clay's tank division. Uncle Clay once said he could not believe he was given a good pair of shoes and a heavy coat that fit him. That is how those two farm boys had seen being in the service of their country. Oh, how I would love just once more to watch Uncle Bud fool folks by throwing his voice or share a pack of Juicy Fruit gum with Uncle Clay.