Shut the Box

Shared by Courtney Sward on March 6, 2014

This was the last video taken of Dad, only a month before he got sick.  It was taken during the Elmore reunion of 2009 and we were playing our favorite family game, Shut the Box.  Of course, in the true spirit of late night games it was Dad and all the kids, no other adult. 

A Thanksgiving memory

Shared by Courtney Sward on November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving is upon us.  I wish I could say it will be an easy day to get through, but I have yet to figure out how to give thanks for something I simply do not understand.  I have been thinking of the Thanksgiving memories with Dad and have one that always brought laughter to us.  I thought I would share it with you.

I do not remember what year it was, but I know I was in high school at the time.  Dad decided to make a Thanksgiving dinner for Michael and me.  Instead of the traditional turkey, he wanted to make something called a ham loaf.  I thought, great!  I love ham and was never a fan of turkey so this will be perfect.  The day began with Dad and me in the kitchen.  He worked on the ham loaf and I did whatever he asked.  I finished the side dishes and now it was on to the pie.  For some reason the two of us thought it would be a great idea to make a pie from scratch.  Neither one of us had ever made a pie from scratch before but really, how hard could it be?  Lets just say something went horribly wrong.  To this day we still do not know what happened but the crust turned out to be quite rubbery and definitely not flaky.  It was truly inedible - even our dog wouldn't eat it.  After all these years we still scratched our heads and blamed the other one for the debacle that was our apple pie.

Finally, time to eat.  I started loading my plate with my awesome side dishes and then loaded up on this thing Dad called a ham loaf.  Dad assured us it would be the greatest thing ever.  We said our thanks and began to eat.  I took one bite of the ham loaf and told Dad something was wrong with it.   He tried it and said, it was perfect - just as he remembered.  So, I tried it again, yet still thought, nope not right, debacle #2 for the day.

Over the years we always had a laugh about that day.  Dad still assured me that was how a ham loaf was supposed to taste and I would tell him the pie crust mishap was not my doing.  I cherish this memory, not because the dinner was a big success (not even close) but because Dad and I spent the entire day together in the kitchen, talking, and laughing.  This is what Dad and I always did together, laugh.

 

Memories

Shared by Marcia Matthys on September 18, 2009

Hey Bud, Morning Mike, Morning Mr. Melmo, Hampshire and 
Elbel Golf Courses, Damons - Ribs and a loaded baked potato, ND football games and basketball games, and "RALPH! be quiet". These are just a few of the many memories we have for the time you worked with us. You always brought laughter and a smile to us everyday - and  that was the best way to get our day going.  I'm sure the Christmas Eve you spent with us was still etched on your hands, as you helped us retrieve the car keys out of our daughter's trunk, locked inside by her son - and this was at 10 PM in  20 degrees below zero weather  and of course snow!  Mike, this time you picked the perfect 19th hole! "We raise  our glass, and our hearts, to you.    Ken and Marcia Matthys,  Todd, Kim, Kristin, Ryan and their families.

From Your Other Niece, Bobbi....

Shared by Debbie Giles on September 18, 2009
To have the love, joy and support of your family is, I believe, the greatest gift of all.  And that I do.  But to be so fortunate as to have an entirely other family love you just the same, is even greater!  My second family... I met on Sunset Lane, when I was twelve years old.
 
"Debbie Elmore is my best friend".  Along with Debbie came many more family  members.  All of them as wonderful as the other.
 
Today I am writing in memory of Uncle Mike.  So many years ago I was invited along with the Elmore's to spend family gatherings and vacations.  I got to know Uncle Mike and how wonderful he was.  Uncle Mike was the person you always loved being around,, he made you laugh with his quirky sense of humor and he especially made you laugh with his funny little dance.  Miss you, Uncle Mike...thanks for all the love and laughter. 
 
You'll be missed!
Bobbi (Bertie) & Michael

Dearest Cousin Miike,

Shared by Susie Walker on September 14, 2009

Right before Mike retired and moved to AZ, Mary and I visited Mom's grave to bury her beloved dog next to her and we didn't have permission and were afraid someone would catch us and arrest us.  We did it at dusk, not a smart thing to do in a cemetery.  We called Mike and made arrangements to meet him for dinner.  After we told Mike what we had done he laughed that special laugh of his.  We had a wonderful evening, he told story after story, and joke after joke.  He had Mary and I laughing so hard we almost peed our pants just like Mom and Aunt Peg.  Soon it was time to part because he had to get home to Ralph and Mary and I needed to pack for our trips home. I asked him, are you dating anyone special, and he said no way!! No more women for me.  I said you are such a good looking guy, so funny, so kind, come and visit Jim and I and I will take you to HH golf course and I can guarantee you every single woman will be chasing you.  He just laughed and thought I was joking.  He was that kind of guy.  He never knew how special he was, but we all did.  Love always, Sue

Ralphie

Shared by Lou Myers on September 14, 2009

Michael had come to Omaha ,Ne and we had great times while he was here.  I had a dog named Ralpie that found its way into my heart when he was a little fur ball.  He was an excitable dog and often would be alone while I was at work or the kids were at their many activities.  When he didn't get the attention he needed, Ralphie would piddle on the floor and often more than one time to let us know he didn't want us to be gone.  After many times of me cleaning the floor and getting upset, I declared." If he does this one more time, he is going to the Pound".  Michael had heard me say that and said. "If you ever want to get rid of the dog, let me know".  Well, I must had forgotten about that conversation, and one Sunday afternoon, I had had with the dog.  I told my 3 girls to get in the car, load up the dog and his baby toy, and take him to the Pound.  I believe the girls were in shock as they folllowed my directions and off they all went with the dog happiily hangiing out the car window.  About a half hour later, I regretted what I had done and was crying when I called Michael.  He went right over the the Pound and it was too late.  Ralphie had already been checked in.  The next morning Michael went over and paid $90.00 to get him our ot  the Omaha Humane Society, and I am sure he would have said it was the best money he ever spent.  I know Ralphie had the best years of his life with a loving, caring man, and when he called in December, he said"Raphie and i just wanted to say Merry Christmas.  I just love this dog."  So many people loved you, and thanks for so many memories that will remain always in the heart.

Lou Hartman Myers

Growing up and out together

Shared by Mike Dorn on September 7, 2009

One of my strongest memories about Mike is that in over 50 yrs of friendship, I never saw him get mad or upset at anyone or anything.   He would always have a smile and a little chuckle laugh.  Having know him since grade school, I also never got made at him (and I was mad at everyone at some time).  He was just fun to be around, we laughed alot.  My most heart warming memory is when the basketball team would travel to away games, we were required to wear our letter sweater or necktie and jacket.  Mike absolutely would not wear a necktie.   I kidded him about this all the time trying to get a tie on him.  I do not know why I did that, maybe it was just to bug him.  However, when we were sophmores in high school, my mom passed away.  Mike and several of my buddies came together to the funeral home and Mike was wearing a necktie,  This was the first time I ever saw him with one on.   I was so moved and overwhelmed that he would do that for me.   I remember losing it and broke down crying.    I will never ever forget that moment.   I can still see it now as though it was yesterday.   He was a special friend and I am so lucky to have had him in my life.   I will miss him dearly.

 

 

I

Game Time Memories

Shared by Mike Jr. on September 4, 2009

 

Tough Luck at the Games
 
During the 18 years Dad and I lived together in Coeur d’Alene, we yearned for Chicago Sports. Keep in mind, from 1974 to 1993 television wasn’t like it is today. There wasn’t Direct TV and the NFL package; there were only 4 NFL games a week on network television (the Seahawks were always one of those four), and to catch Cub highlights we had to watch the local news at 5:00 which would show a Cub highlight only if the Cubbies were in contention…enough said. We lobbied desperately for WGN to be added to the local Cablevision line-up to no avail. Note, after Dad moved back to South Bend and I moved to Arizona, the Coeur d’Alene cable company added WGN to their line-up.  Seattle was a short 5-hour drive from home, well worth the gas money to catch our favorite teams in action, unfortunately, the NL Cubs never played the AL Mariners as inter-league play wasn’t introduced until after 1993. The chance of the NFC Bears playing at the AFC Seahawks was less than getting WGN in Coeur d’Alene with the old rabbit ears on a television.
 
In summer of 1984, I was 14, the NFL schedule came out and low & behold, the Bears were playing at Seattle in September. Dad got tickets and reserved a hotel room for our Saturday night stay.   It was just Dad and I driving across the state of Washington to watch our favorite NFL team play. The game promised to be exciting as the Bears were 3-0, Walter Payton was RB, and the Quarterback was the punky QB Jim McMahon. Only one problem, McMahon got hurt the week prior and was scratched from the line-up. This meant back-up QB Bob Avellini got the start. Little did we know the game would go down in Chicago Bears and Mike Ditka history as the game “Avellini audibled”. If you have time, google “Avellini audible” and it becomes quite humorous. Here is an exert from Ditka’s book when asked about this game:
 
            Mike Ditka;
 
“I thought back to the previous three years I had been coaching the Bears. At the beginning we had been losing all these games we should have won.  It worried me. But then we had Bob Avellini playing quarterback, and it was one of the biggest screw-ups I had ever made. I had no idea what he would do.
 
We’re playing out in Seattle in 1984, and Avellini is starting because McMahon – guess what? – is already out with an injury. We’re ahead 7 – 0, Payton is averaging 5 yards a carry, and it’s second and four, and we have a nice play for Walter called. Oh yea, we are undefeated at the time. Then I hear Ed Hughes, our offensive coordinator, standing next to me say, “OH NO.”
                                                “What, Ed” I yelled!
                                                “The son of a bitch is audible-ing!”
Avellini audibles to a hitch, from a fly pattern with max protection, and the Seattle cornerback pick’s the ball off on a dead run and he’s going so fast the other direction for a touchdown he nearly breaks his neck when he hits the end zone wall. Bob comes out of the game, which we went on to lose 38 – 9, and I’m trembling and I say – “Shit, why would you do that, son?” I said, “Bob, if you ever do that again, you will never – ever –ever play another down for me again.
 
Avellini was benched, and as a matter of fact, was finished as a Bear. Rusty Lisch came in at quarterback to finish the game and proceeded to throw three interceptions. The game was over and we were obviously disappointed (pissed is probably a better word to use). As time passes and we get older, like many things, perspectives change. What was a bad memory and a major disappointment as a kid becomes one of your greatest memories as an adult…A father and son on a weekend road trip to see their favorite NFL team in action. Over the last 26 years Dad and I would regularly reminisce about this game only to laugh about it. We had such high expectations, only to be disappointed by the Avellini audible.
 
We didn’t have much luck with the Cub’s either. Before Dad moved to Arizona, he would make a point to visit when the Cub’s were in town. I’m only guessing, but of the 12 + games we saw against the Diamondbacks here in Phoenix, the Cub’s only won 2. We even planned a trip to New Jersey to visit Courtney and Glenn around the time the Cub’s were in NY to play the Mets. It was late September and the Cub’s were in 1st place and needed a win to stay on top of their division.   As you may have guessed, they lost the game and ended up losing the next four games and missed the playoffs.
 
 
 
Not All Games Were Bad
 
In December of 2006 I told Dad not to come to Arizona for Christmas. Instead, wait a week, fly out for New Years and we’ll go to the Fiesta Bowl, which had Boise State, my alma mater, up against Oklahoma.   As with most winter days in Arizona, the weather was great. Dad and I, along with my wife Jennifer and our kids Michael and Abe, loaded up the trunk with chairs, food and drink, a football, and headed for the stadium parking lot for a pregame tailgate. We weren’t really sure what to expect from the game, as it was a national powerhouse against a small school from Idaho. What transpired over the next four hours was arguably one the best college football games ever. We had great seats, the game was exciting from start to finish, and most of all, we were with Dad/Grandpa. It was a game we referred to often, not only between Dad and I, but with his Grandkids as well (Abe has made Grandpa sit thru the game DVD at least 6 times since). I know he enjoyed himself as we could barley talk the next day. He would often wear his Fiesta Bowl hat with pride and even wore-out the Boise State tee shirt we bought him for game day.
 
Thanks for the Memories Dad, I love you.
 
 
 

Do you have any safety pins?

Shared by Debbie Giles on September 4, 2009

Let's see......again, not sure of the year but I remember the occasion.  It was my 2nd cousin, Jim Fleming's, wedding in Detroit.  I drove out with my parents and we met Uncle Bill, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Mike out there.  Whenever Randy wasn't with me I pretty much hung with Uncle Mike so he was my "date".  We had a lot of fun at cousin Joe's bar and at the lake with Linda and John playing shut the box....but at the wedding reception, Uncle Mike and I had the most fun!  I don't think you're suppose to request and do lemon-drop shots at a wedding reception...but we did.  This fueled even more dancing and during one famous move, Uncle Mike ripped his pants straight up the back.  We went to the front desk of the hotel and asked if they had any safety pins.  We ended up with about 25 little sewing kits that had about 2 safety pins in each.  Uncle Mike hit the mens room....pinned his pants back together....met me back on the dance floor.....and I don't think anyone was the wiser.  HA! 

 

Another Elmore wedding....my brother Dave and his wife, Paula, in Charlotte NC.  Something that the Elmore's are known for is their infamous Hospitality Suites.  When the reception was over downstairs, everyone gathered upstairs in the suite.  Uncle Mike and I were determined to find Dave and Paula's bridal suite and crash in on them....hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time, I guess.  First off, I have a problem doing elevators.  I don't know but they mess up my equalibrium.  So here we are going up and down from floor to floor trying to find the room.  When we finally got to the room we thought was theirs, I was about ready to pass out from "elevator-head" and Uncle Mike walked into an open room he was sure was the one and needless to say, found out that it wasn't.  I don't remember who the people were, I was still going up and down in my head out in the hallway, but Uncle Mike came out pretty fast stating, "Uhhhhh.....that's not them."  How old were we??

 

 

To all the Elmore's

Shared by Charlotte Howell-Poole on September 4, 2009

I just happened to be reading the S.B. Tribune and saw Mike's obit.  What a shock and suprise to see someone from my childhood days.  I now live on Magician Lake at Sister Lakes, MI and am a retired school library media specialist with my retired WMU professor husband for the past 5 years.  It has been a long time since I remember visiting your parent's house and having cookouts in the back yard.  I do remember a lot of sports equipment being around too!  In fact, did we all go visit Alex and Mayne Wilson up at their camp in WI?  Can't quite remember who was all there?? Bill, Peg, Ed and Augie went out west together and I know played golf together as life long friends.  My mom passed on at age 93, and my dad at 98 just a couple of year's ago.

So glad you brothers have all stayed in touch.  Enjoyed the pictures.  You have our sympathy and enjoy your wonderful memories!

Sincerely, Charlotte Howell Poole and Howard (Skip) Poole 

Where to start

Shared by Roger Eby on September 3, 2009

I've known Michael since the 5th grade at Clay Jr. High. We always set close to each other in alphabetical order: Steve Amor, Jon Arnold, Don Brown, Mike Dorn, Ed Dunn, and all.  The fun started then with Michael and never stopped.  I remember a time in high school when the basketball team was playing in North Liberty and someone took his underwear from the locker room and hung them on their auto antenna and went by the team bus and the fan bus honking and hollering.  He was embarrassed but took it as a joke. When he moved back to South Bend and I came to visit, he always made time for me to play some golf (he would have made time for Hitler to play golf).  I'll never forget my visits and playing golf with Mike, Jon Arnold and Don Brown. Thanks for all the great times Mike.  I love you and will miss you. GO CUBS!!

Hey Bud; how ya doin?

Shared by Chuck Walters on September 3, 2009

Although Mike worked for me at Edupoint, our relationship was more than just that---we were close friends.  Each month I would fly in from Denver and upon arriving at the office, I would hear that "Hey Bud, how ya doin?"  We shared the same office and I would constantly tell Mike ----- "Your talking to yourself again."  He would just laugh and keep going.  I will miss those trips to In and Out restaurant for our usual double burger, fries and Coke.  He would remind me how lucky I was that Ralph did not mind me sitting on his seat in the car.  I have never met Mike's kids; however, I feel I know them and the grandkids as well.  Our conversations often included current events and happenings in both families.  Mike was one of those guys you could describe as "what you see is what you get".  If he liked you, he would tell you, if not, he would tell you that also.  I will miss him alot!  I am glad he touched my life and I will be forever grateful!

Cousin Mike

Shared by Mary And Bernie Fledderma... on September 3, 2009

I remember an evening back in the 60’s, when we were living in Non and Pa’s house on Fox Street, that Mom was watching a drama on TV that she had been looking forward to all week. I don’t think Mike knew of her plans,  but it was our good fortune that he and one of his friends stopped in that evening to spend time with his Aunt Janie. Mike (or Michael as my mom called him) could not resist making fun of and joking about everything during the whole program.   Through tears of laughter my mother kept telling him that he needed to stop because she had really looked forward to watching it. I remember it as a magical evening seeing how much fun my mom had and to see her laugh so much. It was like Mike knew she needed it! To me this just shows how special a person he was even as a young man. Not many men of that age would want to spend an evening with one of his aunts if he didn’t have to. 

I have so many other great memories of spending time with Mike; our trip out west with my mom, when Bernie and I visited him in Columbus, all the family holidays, reunions, the summers I stayed with Aunt Peg and Uncle Bill and of course when he moved back to South Bend. Mike was a gracious host and never failed to provide a great time when we visited him. Bernie was very lucky to also spend many weekends golfing and going to ND games and tailgating with him (even though Ralph never warmed up to him). He was not only a great cousin but also a great person who we will miss more than we can put in words!

Brother

Shared by Bill Elmore on September 2, 2009

As Mike's older brother by 7 years my early memories of Michael are a bit dim other than picking on him when I felt like it.  However,  when we were a bit older, perhaps Mike in his late teens, there was always a sporting competetion of some sort.  One was the "fastest" in the Family.  I had been disqualified years earlier when it was discovered I ran in one place too long, but David and Michael were both track stars at Clay and thought themselves quicker than stink in a high wind.

I was the official starter and umpire at the tape.  It was a race from the street light at Myrtle and Sunset Lane to the steet light in front of the Jones'. (another story)  Michael had these great sprinter legs with big calves and hammy's while David was tall and rangy.  Mike was quick off the start and Dave tended to build up speed.  Mike, as expected, jumped off to an early lead  and clearly was winning at the 3/4 mark, but David running upright with his chest out  and grunting with every stride started to close the gap. Dave's grunts forced Mike to start laughing as he neared the finish and David nipped him.  As often as we repeated the race it generated the same result.

Memories of a Jr High geek

Shared by Kevin Knight on September 1, 2009

Back in the mid 60's, I was in Junior High.  My sister, Jane, was in High School and part of her inner circle was Mike.  I was a normal junior high kid, so naturally I was "in love"  with Judy and Jackie and Mary Lynn and Donna, but, I was heavy into sports, and the group at Clay High School were my real heroes.  Roger Benko, Mike Smith, Jon Arnold, Mike Dorn, Roger Eby, Ettmueller,  Obenchain, Mike Cress and of course Mike Elmore.  They were all my idols.  As the little brother, they could have blown me off, but, they never did.  I loved them all and my memories are still good and positive.   It sounds like Mike was a fantastic father, uncle, husband,  grandparent and friend, but you should know, that he was a pretty good kid too.  One that I will always remember with good feelings.  I am so sorry for your loss.  He was taken from you way too young. My God Bless your family.  Kevin Knight,  Class of '69

The Big Win!

Shared by Debbie Giles on September 1, 2009

Ok, I don't remember the year but I do remember why we were together.  It was Thanksgiving and we were gathering in the normal location for most of these occasions...Naperville, IL.  It was pretty late in the evening...we had eaten dinner....we had ingested enough alchohol already....you'd think bed was next on the list of things to do.  Nope.  Some wanted to go to the casino boat in Chicago.  Yes, a floating casino.  Well, I was in.  (correct me if I'm wrong but I don't remember any of the "sons" going along)  So, Uncle MIke, Uncle Bill, my Dad and I started off on an adventure.  When we arrived and the boat set sail for a 3 hour cruise (seriously, I think that's how long it took) Uncle Bill and Dad hit the blackjack table.  Uncle Mike and I hit the bar.  After a couple cocktails we wanted to see how the blackjack game was coming along...it wasn't.  They were both very serious in their betting, stacking and unstacking the few chips they had left.  Behind them was an oversized slot machine.  Lots and lots of lights, real tall, big handle, the works.  Well, we thought, what the heck.  It still remains a mystery as to who actually pulled the handle (I still say it was me) but needless to say, we hit the jackpot!  Immediately it was like the 4th of July inside that floating casino.  Lights were flashing, sirens were blazing, bells were ringing....it was sooooo loud!  Uncle Mike and I looked at each other in disbelief with mouths wide open...only for a few seconds...then we were just as loud as that machine.  High fives, yellin and getting carried away....I think we did a chest bump, but I'm not sure.  We looked over at Dad and Uncle Bill yelling, "Did you see that??!!  Can you believe this??!!"  I remember one of them saying, "Does that thing have to be so loud??!!"  AND I even think Dad gave off one of those "Dad looks"...as if I were 10 again and I pushed a button I wasn't suppose to.  I guess they weren't too excited about our winnings....they were both getting more cash out of their pockets.  We took our money....split it down the middle (even though I was SURE I pulled the handle which REALLY should have warranted more than 1/2) and we headed back to the bar.  That's when the celebration began and I turned Uncle MIke onto Kamakazee shots!  The next morning was a little rough...Uncle Mike, from what I understand, cause I think I was still sleeping on the bathroom floor, woke up after 3 hours of sleep to make the Thanksgiving pies in the dark....the light was too bright for his eyes.  Anyway, the pies were perfect, I finally came out of the bathroom, we each had $250 in our pocket and another "Uncle Mike and Debbie" story to share.  MAN....I sure LOVE that guy!!!  ** More stories to follow.

Dave Elmore

Shared by Dave Elmore on August 31, 2009

SAVE THE LAST DANCE

We were in Detroit for Jodi's (Joe  and Sue Zimmer's oldest daughter) wedding.  The reception was at the Pontiac Silverdome, a terrific venue and sight. 

Earlier, Bill, Michael and I played golf at the TPC at Dearborn (a senior championship golf location) that Bill arranged.  What a test it was, we were all awful but what fun we had.  On the way to the course, I remember Bill pointing out the restaurant where Jimmy Hoffa was last seen. 

The reception included a DJ.  We danced, danced and danced some more.  Much of our energy was vodka fueled so our thinking was other than concise.  Michael and I were on the dance floor, a polka started and we grabbed one another and danced the dance.  We spun a time or two, smiled, laughed and moved away.  Seconds after letting him go,a guy moves in, grabs Michael in a hug and continues the dance.  It took Michael a spin or two  to realize this boy had more in mind than a dance(of course, there's nothing wrong with that). 

We were all watching as this unfolded...the look on Michael's face when he realized the situation, doubled us over. 

You Again????

Shared by Dave Elmore Jr on August 31, 2009

When my Uncle Mike would call the house to check in on my folks as I was growing up, inevitably, I would answer the phone.  He would always say, "What, you again?  Every time I call over there I have to talk to you first!"  He would always proceed to ask me how things were going, ask about football, school, girls, etc.  We'd talk for so long that by the time he got to my dad, it was about time to hang up.

 

The Elmore Cup has been a coveted trophy for the Elmore family golfers for several years now.  Unfortunately for Uncle Mike and I, we don't have our names on the trophy too terribly often.  In fact, we would typically end up playing together on the final day in the first group because neither of us were in contention.  Except for one, special day in Myrtle Beach in 1996.  Several of us gathered there to celebrate Uncle Mike's 50th birthday.  Somehow or another, we found ourselves tied for the lead at the end of the weekend which forced a nine-hole playoff.  We kept asking each other after each hole during that playoff, "What'd you get?"  (Uncle Mike played with my Uncle Bill and my dad while I played with my cousins Mike Jr and Bill).  Each hole the answer was higher than either of us cared to share....8's, 9's maybe a 7 here or there.  At the end of the nine-holes, we were tied AGAIN with a pair of 63's...OUCH.  We went to the starter and asked if we could play one more hole.  Just Uncle Mike and I played this hole while his brothers and my cousins "cheered" us on.  I took the Cup that year after edging out my Uncle with a 9 to his 10.  We recounted that day (as we have many, many, many times since) just last month at our annual July 4th Elmore gathering and he again, blamed his brothers for laughing while he struggled in the sand, as my cousins helped me retrieve my ball from the lake.

 

"Spoons" is a game that has a tendancy to appear during the evening when we are all together.  Each person gets four cards and passes a card to the left.  Dealer calls "pick 'em up" and you pick up the card that has been passed to you.  As soon as one person gets four-of-a-kind, they grab a spoon and the player who doesn't get a spoon that round loses the round (there is always one less spoon than there are players).  I explain this as Uncle Mike continues to hold the record for the only player in "spoons" history to have the four-of-a-kind and NOT get one of the spoons.

 

My dad and his brothers always instilled in us kids the importance of family.  The importance of being together.  Although we all lived in various corners of the country, we would always make the time to get together.  As a result, I now have many wonderful memories of my Uncle that I will always cherish.

 

It's not fair to say that I'll miss my Uncle.  That goes without saying.  What I'll truly miss is a friend.

 

One of these days, sometime down the road, I'm know the first thing he'll say to me is "What, you again?"

Dave Elmore

Shared by Dave Elmore on August 31, 2009

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON MY WAY TO ARIZONA

Carolyn and I spent the month of March this year in AZ with Mike.  From the very beginning of the planning stages of the visit he insisted we stay with him.  Now, as many of you know, he had a one bedroom apartment.  Pretty small quarters for just he and Ralph let alone adding the two of us.  Even though I was concerned on how it was going to work out, we agreed.  I figured if it became a problem we could always find another spot for the duration of the visit.  Now, we have always been a very loving and respectful family.  But, our relationships have been mainly long distance since the late "60's".  And, since then, we certainly had not been in one another's daily lives for more than a week at a time.  So, spending a month suggested new ground would have to be covered. 

For the visit, he sprung for a new sleeper sofa a few weeks in advance.  It really was quite comfortable (I slept on it during our time there in August) and Mike insisted this was where he and Ralph would sleep.  And, that's exactly where they slept for the entire visit.

The last few years we've congregated in AZ to celebrate Mike's birthday in March and play again for the Elmore Cup (Mike Jr. won it).  So, the first several days of the month of this year were spent playing golf, drinking, eating, laughing and getting up the next day to do it all over again....pretty much standard fare for one of our gatherings. 

Mike had taken some time off during the week for the family gathering but after everyone left on the Sunday following his birthday, he returned to work, leaving about 7ish, came home for lunch and finished his day around 4:30.  Most days, we were up to see him leave and, more times than not, we were there when he ended his day.  Interestingly, the three of us coordinated nicely the fact that he had just a "one holer". 

Evenings were spent watching March Madness, deciding on dinner plans and talking...talking a lot, actually.  Many a night we'd end up out on the patio on his Cubbie Blue directors chairs, talking about...whatever and forever. 

We'd play golf on weekends, go to the race track and a couple times during the week hit balls at the Western Skies range (I actually got him to go there to adjust his swing and quit hitting himself on the back of the neck.  For those of you who saw him play after that, you know how effective I was).  We were frequently at Mike and Jen's house to enjoy their family hospitality.  It really was a very special time.  In fact, we all agreed, we'd come earlier and stay later next year.  

I'll forever remember two occasions where we hugged like two sumo wrestlers coming together, squeezing as hard as we could and not saying a word.  Because, each of us knew, the moment was special( I enjoyed an identical moment with Bill when we were at Mike's apartment while Michael was in the hospital).  Perhaps there was something magical about that apartment...who knows.  But what I do know is, I went to AZ to avoid the winter and found...my brother.  Found him all over again.  What an absolutely delightful time and memory takeaway.

Mike Jr reminded me that sometimes things happen for a reason...there you go.   

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