Uncle Corbin

Many people say that my Uncle Corbin is the spit and image of his dad, my grandpa. For the most part that is bang-​on. He’s loud and stubborn and disciplined and dedicated and committed to his family. He is a firm believer that if you are going to do something, you should do it the right way [usually his way] and to the best of your ability. [A trait most of my family exhibits] When my parents divorced, Corbin decided to be a father figure for me when I needed one. For my 16th birthday he got his hands on some Notre Dame football tickets, and I got to see Lou Holtz’s last home game at the stadium, and visit ND for the first time.

Later, when I started going to school there, I’d see him just about whenever he came to campus, for a couple’s retreat with his wife, my Aunt Mary. Life at ND was particularly hard for me for a variety of reasons and I once had a long talk with Corbin about the difficulties I was having with my roommate and women and his advice and willingness to share his own tough times were immensely helpful, although I might not have realized it at the time.

Corbin is a pretty die-​hard party-​line Republican. He refuses to buy Grey Goose vodka because the French don’t support the US, won’t buy Coors beer because they support GLBT stuff and other things I can’t quite wrap my head around.

Corbin gave me my first cigar, at my Cousin Luke’s wedding. When we go to Canada, he usually has two or three for me as well. Corbin is a very good fisherman. It is hard to beat him when it comes to catching walleye. He also knows how to cook. His steaks and ribs and baked fish are outstanding. We always bicker and get pissed off at each other at least once on a trip to Canada, mainly because we’re so much alike personality-​wise and because I’m driving the boat. We also get into fights when we are euchre partners, but again, that is the case for everyone in my family. After we’ve had time to cool down, it is like nothing happened. But over and above all, his generosity is unstinting and unending and I’m glad he’s my uncle because my life would be much less colorful and educational without him.