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  • Cliff was born in the early 20's a year or two after my mom. He was the oldest child of my mom's oldest sister Gladys - who was always called Ditty by family and friends. Aunt Ditty had five boys and lost her husband when Cliff was only 25. Their home at a rural MO lake was only partly built when Uncle Bruce died of cancer. The youngest two boys (near my age) were still pre-schoolers - Cliff might have had dreams to fly as he did in the war - or paint and study music ... but what he did was worked for Bendix in KC for 30 years and stayed at home with Gladys to build that house and raise her family.

    I went to the lake and played many times as I grew up ... even lived at Cliff and Ditty’s home the summer of 1962 while my mom was in the hospital getting well. Mom and my new dad moved our family away from that little town in MO in '63 and I did not see Cliff for a few years.

    When I was 22 I had been living in Denver and after getting Sick myself ... I moved back to KC MO and Cliff walked back into my life. The cousin that had always seemed like an Uncle reached out to me - a man of 45 he was hungry for the wonderful world away from that lake house. We joined a theater group, went to movies, eat dinner in placed he could afford and I only dreamed. We created a circle of friends in the Plaza in KC and I enjoyed watching him spread his wings to fly. The artist and closest gay man came out we shared a home with two other friend for a few years. When I left with my boyfriend to move to Boulder - Cliff got a big motorcycle and drove out to visit a few times - also drove to AZ to see more family that shared his talents as artist.

    Later Cliff sold the lake house after his mom died - he moved to AZ where he made a good life for a few years. Sadly, his health got poor over the years and we lost him when he was in his mid sixties. I miss him all the time - enjoy this picture of him getting ready to fly the mail plane across the sky’s for the USA military postal service.
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