Born a few years earlier we might have had photos of Uncle Bud leaning in the cowling of some fighter plane making it able to fly faster and higher. A few years later maybe inside a Saturn V rocket rewiring it so it would get to the moon a day or two quicker.
What he was to me was a hard working man full of fun who could fix anything, make anything he had a mind to or just plain make anything better. I always enjoyed hanging out with him while he worked on some project or trying to emulate his work ethic when I gave him a hand.
The song "Rapid Roy" by Jim Croce made me always think of Uncle Bud. especially the line about driving 130 mile an hour smilin for the camera.
He was the first person I ever saw wearing sunglasses in the middle of winter and I thought he was like a Hollywood actor.
He once drove around a band called "The Undertakers". My Mom would get upset about the hearse parked in front of our house.
He had a boat he fixed up and he would putt putt around in it wearing his captains hat standing on the seat steering it with his foot.
Where ever he went he loved to drive around and explore. Those were great days in Oregon, or the Okanagan, or around Kamloops, or just where ever. Driving highways and back roads just to see where they went. Sometimes the roads faded into the bushes but that was fine, the going there was what it was about.
Of course there are a lifetime of memories of him and these are but a few.
When I paint a picture of my Uncle Bud in my mind it's sitting beside him in one of his Ford Galaxie 500's, he has one hand on the wheel, one arm resting out the window, going 90 miles an hour along Highway 97, him looking over with that smile of his and the glint in his eye and winking at me, like we're sharing a secret.
Deb, Amber, Judi, and Jesse, I know your Dad loved you all fiercely and I feel I can speak for the the cousins in saying as an uncle he was pretty cool.
I'll miss him.