KENT GRAYBEAL OSBORNE- (His middle name after the doctor who delivered him.)


As I sit here to write about Uncle Kent,  I find it more difficult than I imagined.  How do I write about the person that I idolized since childhood.  My first memories of Uncle Kent are of a big strong man that would throw me high into the air, then catch me every time.  I so looked forward to his visits.   I remember Uncle Kent swinging me on the swing on the big oak tree behind Uncle Dalton and Aunt Effie's home, and taking me to City Lake Park to swing.  I  remember Kent and Ava's wedding, and the reception at my mother's house.  Kent and Ava stayed with us for a while when Joy was born, so my mother could help with the baby.

When I was growing up, Uncle Kent would always play baseball, croquet, or badminton with me.  Even after working two shifts all week in the hosiery mills, he still had time for me.  Uncle Kent took me to my first baseball game, my first rodeo, and my first NASCAR race. Uncle Kent took me to see the ocean, and took me swimming in the ocean for the first time.  I'm sure I must have been a spoiled brat, and difficult at times, but Uncle Kent always had infinite patience, never raised his voice to me, and never make me feel small or embarassed. 

Uncle Kent was the smartest man I knew.  He could build a boat, work on a car, or carry a conversation about most anything.  I suppose many would remember him as shy and reserved.  I do not remember him this way.  I was always asking his opinion, or why this worked and that did not.  He would always explain things on end if I was interested, and he always listened and made me feel important.

Uncle Kent was a true war hero.  He was a top-turret gunner (Rank of Tech Sergeant) on bombers flying missions over France and Germany in World War II.  Once his plane was shot down  over France.  He told me of standing and looking over the tail of the plane, once the plane had come to rest in an apple orchard.  He said it looked as if a tornado had come through the orchard, mowing down trees as far as the eye could see.  He was awarded several medals, which Aunt Ola kept when I was a child.  More that once, she showed them to me. 

Uncle Kent was raised by Aunt Eula and Aunt Ola, when his mother was ill, and later passed on.  He was a good husband to Ava, and a great father to Joy, Jackie, and Joel.  But most of all, to me, he was a wonderful friend, playmate, mentor and role model.  I respected him,  loved him dearly, and will never forget him.

Danny Pugh