Saturday, February 20, 2010

Uncle Harry, RIP

My Uncle ,Harry Tellalian, passed away on February 18th after a tough struggle with cancer. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, some of my fondest memories are of the times I spent with him. Later, when my family moved to Florida, Uncle Harry [ really my older cousin ] would visit fairly often.

Uncle Harry would write me quite a bit, which, looking back is pretty amazing. How often do any of us find time to write and send a letter. I have a lot of cousins and I always wanted to be the sort of Uncle or relative Harry was. Well, those are some tough shoes to fit into.

I have a lot of great Uncle Harry stories - but besides all the rough housing, [ he was a HS wrestler, so even if I was a grown man I would of still been tossed around like a rag doll! ] my favorite memory of Harry is from one day after school...

I lived in Florida at the time [ probably around when the top picture was taken with his mother and father ] and Uncle Harry was visiting and staying with our family for a few weeks. Being at school wasn't easy because all I wanted to do was hang out with him. Anyway, he decided he would meet me after school. I lived about 4 miles away and generally rode my bicycle everyday unless it was raining. So when I got out of class I noticed Uncle Harry was waiting for me. I have to describe this scene: As you can tell by the pictures, back then he looked like one of the Blues Brothers meets Elvis meets a Pro Wrestler. He was dressed pretty much as he was in the first picture as he sat on my mother's Schwinn bicycle. Of course, it was a girls bicycle and it had an old skool white basket on the front handle bars with flowers everywhere. Seeing Uncle Harry on that bike was quite a sight. He was just sitting there wearing sunglasses with a cigarette dangling from his mouth and I'll never forget it. Looking the way he did, who would say anything? But it was hard not to chuckle! I thought to myself, only Uncle Harry could pull this off. As I jumped on my bike, the girl I was madly in love with came walking towards me and I felt like my stock had risen 600 points because Uncle Harry was there with me. That's how much I looked up to him and loved him.

Thanks Uncle Harry for all the comic books and all the laughs. Having you in my life meant more to me than you'll ever know.

10 comments:

Josh said...

I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing guy who had a big impact on you and helped shape you into the man you became. You can always be grateful that he was such a powerful and positive force in yours, and it sounds like many others' lives.

Anthony Diecidue said...

My condolences, man. I'm sure he'd smile if he read this great memory you shared with us.

Tom said...

My condolences. Very touching memories.

Craig Zablo said...

I'm also sorry for your loss, Everyone needs an Uncle Harry. You were lucky enough to have the real deal. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Condolences Dan. Many wish they could have family like that. i am glad that you have such great memories to keep Uncle Harry's spirit alive. Maybe we could see some Uncle Harry times in sequential artform? Before coming to FLorida myself, I grew up in Jersey and my family in Jersey was tight. We had good times. That's why I always enjoyed films like Stand By Me, books like Brooklyn Dreams and now, Uncle Harry. Thanks for sharing.

A.R.T. aka Autumn Rain said...

I'm sorry Dan, it sounds like he was fundamental in shaping the man you would become. He sounds like a character worth keeping alive in memories. I am sure he was/is proud of you and everything you. I'm honored that you shared this story and his memory with us.

Benito Gallego said...

I'm sorry man. I'm sure your uncle was a really special person and I'm also sure he really knew how much you loved him.

murf said...

Sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing that bike story; classic.

Mary Tellalian said...

I love reading this, i do it at least twice a month. Thank you for putting this up. Im glad people get to read how amazing my dad really was.

Urban Barbarian said...

Your dad was one of my heroes as a kid! I can't imagine how much fun he must of been as a dad!