The Family Champion

The obnoxious air-horn sounded… and Andrew’s arm was once again raised in victory.

This family-event, stretching back from when Great-Uncle Elmer’s childhood’s memories began, had always happened on Wednesday afternoon- the third day of our weeks’ vacation at Lake Oakazwonga.

Andrew had been the designated winner of the event since his twelfth birthday.

Granted, he was good at stuffing his face. But the rest of us were far better at enjoying the children’s attempts at scarfing down four or five whole dogs-complete with buns- in three minutes, than in seeking the glory of stomach bloat-a-vi-cation.

In recent years, it was assumed that Andrew was the family champion.

The exultation of championship envy was temporary. Andrew was not the revered son.

Grandfather (our father) was repulsed by him.

At our reunions, Grandfather remained aloof. Grandfather was far too couth and genteel to show his feelings in a public setting.

All five of his accomplished sons were well respected lawyers. All five sons had graduated at the top of their classes from Harvard. All five of Grandfather’s sons were well-respected in the community.

What got Grandfather’s gall…?

Andrew had the inept nerve to turndown his appointment to the family law firm- Baxter’s- a firm revered (i.e. feared) from Charleston to Dallas- to work as mere social appointee … a political ambulance chaser… at his own personal practice near the projects in Atlanta.

As the vacation ended and the family dispersed, Grandfather blessed each of his sons equally.

With a firm handshake from Grandfather and s kiss on his cheek from each son, Grandfather discreetly slide an envelope in each son’s hand.  Each son quickly pocketed his envelope. Andrew was particularly careful screening his from public view.


Every Wednesday, without exception, the five sons dined together at Benny’s Bar… their favorite teen hangout.

Benny’s was still a thriving establishment. It was the first of many purchases that the boys had used Grandfather’s noble gesture to acquire.

It was a running joke… Andrew’s envelope.

Each of the four sons… the partners on the firm… received their gift from Grandfather in a gold-embossed, white envelope. The color of Andrew’s envelope – our family’s black sheep- changed every year.

They would enjoy Benny’s Famous PulledPork Barbeque with a cold mug, and try to ‘guess the meaning of this year’s color’ behind this year’s envelope’s color theme.

Written for Three Word Wednesdays: Requirements: Create a story using the three words given as the prompt.

3WW Week No. 345

Aloof, adjective: not friendly or forthcoming; cool and distant; conspicuously uninvolved and uninterested, typically through distaste.

Temporary, adjective: lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent.

Whole, adjective: all of; entire; used to emphasize a large extent or number; in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece; healthy; noun: a thing that is complete in itself; adverb: used to emphasize the novelty or distinctness of something.


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