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Uncle Bill Is Everywhere

As a kid, I thought my uncle’s basement was filled with wonders. Neon signs from local bars hung on the walls. And then there were the mechanical toys. My uncle was known for keeping a crazy collection of battery controlled animals and cars. These were before wireless control and plastic injection molding. Most of the things had metal under pinnings and cloth hand-sewn around them. Each was programmed to do one specific thing. Everyone’s favorite was a monkey – complete with a red and white striped jockey suit – that would bang two symbols together when turned on. It was utterly obnoxious and loud. And its painted on mouth had a permanent smile that looked more like a scream, especially once you had heard its symbol banging madness. Yet, something about it got everyone laughing and smiling. ... Read more
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