As I retrieve the colorful box from beneath the basement stairs and lug it up to the living room, I can't help but smile. I know as soon as I open the box, its contents will whisk me back to a different living room -- the one that was my paternal grandmother's.
The extended family can be so important to a young child. But the traditional model of a family consisting of a father, mother and children is not always a reality. In my situation, Father was missing in action. Nevertheless, I was very fortunate to have a wonderful grandfather, John Washington, born 1887, and four uncles, including Louis Washington, born in 1928. Uncle Louis extended to me over...