On this day in 1939, Bill Bowman was born in Kentucky. He is the oldest child of Bill and Kate Bowman, my grandparents, and older brother to my mom, Judy. He married the love of his life, Nancy, in the 1960s, has two daughters, several grandchildren and great grandchildren. He worked in sales for several auto dealerships throughout is career and once owned a bar. And he is my uncle. I remember his cigars, dancing the jitterbug with his beautiful wife, and always a smile on his face. Who else knows Uncle Bill?
Scent of Smoke by Chris Wood A feathered barrette pinned to her hair and braided leather across her forehead, my cousin, tired of babysitting, drags me and my sister to the woods to meet up with her friends, smoking cigarettes, sneaking swigs of Jack, threatening us not to tell. I would beg for a puff, a sip. They laughed when I coughed and gagged. I still smell the smoke – cigarettes, cigars, sometimes the other stuff. Flashes of my uncle, always with a cigar between his fingers. My dad, his pipe hanging out of his mouth, friends chain smoking. I can even feel the draw of the Winston Lights I used to smoke. It's funny what you remember. The scents and sights that trigger them. I watched a video my cousin posted to social media. Her parents, dancing. He has dementia now. The body remembers even if the mind does not. I wonder if he remembers me.
“Scent of Smoke” published in Impspired Issue 21
Photo credit: Gina Bowman