Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Mom's Haley Family Memories, part 9: Her Brother Mike

2 year old Uncle Mike on brother Bill's lap
Uncle Bill is 10
4 year old Helen (L)
8 year old Mary (R)
c 1942
Brother Mike

Next in line was Mike.   He was born just a month after we arrived in the States in 1940.  We were still staying at Grandma and Grandpa Kehoe's in Flint.  He was born on Christmas Morning.  We thought we had received a wonderful Christmas gift.  I was six and Helen was two.  Bill was 8. 
March 1956
This photo once belonged to Grandma Elizabeth Spear who wrote:
"Mar 56 Gene n Mary's bros and Keith and Nelson"
On the left is my dad Gene
behind my dad is his brother Nelson
Center is 6 yr old Uncle Joe just behind his big brother, my Uncle Bill
That's 16 year old Uncle Mike  right front

Haleys Mike 17 and Bill 25 
with their Aunt Helen Dec 57
Partying in the 12th Street Basement

Mike was always a sweet happy little guy, kind of pudgy and good-natured.   We almost lost him to pneumonia once when he was about two, must have been just before Winnie was born.  It’s ironic how it was his lungs that got him at the end too; he was just 64 when we lost him to lung cancer.  For that matter so was Helen (she was 63 when she died).  
Uncle Mike is 20 years old in this family photo above

Uncle Mike and Aunt Nan
He is 22
I don't know what church this is 

Mike was smart and did well in school although now I hear he was rather a smart aleck.  He was president of his Senior Class and went on to Michigan State, joined the ROTC. But not too long into his freshman year; when our Dad died in 1962, that was the end of his college.   He did take mail order courses after that though.   So through the years he did well for himself, literally pulling himself up by the bootstraps. Sure have to give him credit for never giving up on himself. He went up the ranks of the managerial staff at GM and did ok.      
Uncle Mike, whooping it up, probably on his wedding day
His little sis Winnie either dancing or having an attitude?

I remember Uncle Mike kind of bragging about being a smart aleck in high school. I think he saw himself as a kind of a banty rooster tough guy right? played football, got in gang fights?  Do you remember much of that? 

Uncle Mike & Aunt Nan in the 1970s
I LOVE the bow tie and the daring neckline!

By the way Phil, that was a great blog about the Spear Farm.   Too bad it was sold but there were just too many heirs and no one had enough money to pay off the rest of the family for it.

To my knowledge he didn't go looking for a fight, just got caught in the middle of one when he and his buddies went to see what was going on.  I was really mad at him as I was watching my brothers and sisters while Mom and Dad went on a trip to Canada by themselves. They never got to go off just the two of them very often.   Mike was brought home by the cops.   They never caught any of the gang members just the foolish kids who came to watch.
Uncle Mike between brother Jim and Aunt Nan
This is probably at Zhenders in Frankenmuth

Uncle Mike was born in 1940; that means he could have been drafted. Did that ever come up? 

I can't remember Mike coming up for the draft.  I'll ask Nan if she knew. He was proud of the short time he was in ROTC.  

I know you and Dad had the chance to spend some quality time with Uncle Mike and Aunt Nan over the years after Dad retired from the air force. After all, they lived just around the corner from us, just a mile’s drive away on Burt Road. I clearly remember the four of you went to Hawaii in the early 80s I think it was. That must have been a blast. The fact that they lived so close to us gave me the chance to be around him quite a bit more than I otherwise would have. When he passed away I wrote my own heartfelt memorial of words about him. I called it “Uncle Mike Memories.”

Mid 70s Christmas Party at Uncle Mike & Aunt Nan's house on Burt Road
All the Haley siblies together:
Jim, Winnie, Mike, Joe, Bill, Mary, Helen
Probably singing The 12 Days of Christmas
I remember it well. Aunt Helen would do "FIVE GOLDEN RINGS" at the top of her voice and crack everyone up!

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