One of the major events in my life this past year was a sad one - the death of my Uncle Skippy, who was also my godfather. I consider him and my godmother, Auntie Ellie, to be major influences in my life - she with her "Auntie Mame" joie de vivre, and he with his puckish sense of humor, darting in and out with quick little quips.
Norman Smith, Senior, was one of the first ten licensed TV repairmen in the state of Connecticut, and he was quite proud of that fact. As far as I know, my cousins still have his original license certificate. For a time he was the president of TELSA, a local organization for electronics dealers. When he finally retired and sold his company in West Hartford - Tip Top TV, which also sold televisions - Uncle Skip showed excellent timing, as we became more of a disposable society and the need for TV repairmen was dramatically reduced.
I accompanied him a few times on his appointments and it was cool to sit on those rooftops with my cousin Norman while Uncle Skippy worked on the antennae. And on one call, I got to meet an actual local TV celebrity - Ralph Kanna, the host of a Connecticut kids' show, "Draw With Me", on the local NBC affiliate.
So in these last few minutes of 2010, I just wanted to take a personal moment to remember Norman "Skip" Smith. Like the Eleventh Incarnation of the Doctor, who'll be the focus of a deluge of posts beginning at midnight, Uncle Skippy made bowties cool.