Larissa meets her Mischievous Uncle Bruce

Uncle Bruce is no longer the youngest member of the Pickens family! 

This photo with Bruce was taken on the Pickens family farm near Flagler, Colorado, during the summer of 1974, when Larissa was probably about 8 months old and Uncle Bruce was 16. It was some time after the harvest was finished, but before school started.  Gary was still serving as a DS2 aboard the U.S.S. Chicago, CG-11, which was somewhere in the West Pacific (or perhaps the Indian Ocean), when Marilyn and Larissa flew in from San Diego to spend a week on the farm. Larissa was teething at the time, and she was not always cheerful. 

What Marilyn remembers best about the photo with Bruce is that it was taken one afternoon when Larissa was extremely fussy (probably from those teeth coming in) and she absolutely, positively did not want to take a nap. Grandpa Bill finally stepped in and took charge. He carried the baby into his bedroom, and just held down her arms and legs while she tried to kick and scream. He kept saying, “At-away, at-away,” in a soothing voice. Eventually there was silence, and Marilyn peeked into the room, and saw that they had fallen asleep together. Grandpa was holding Larissa on his chest, and their heads were exactly in line, Larissa head just under Grandpa’s chin, and the big face and the little face had exactly the same peaceful expression. This photo was taken after Larissa had slept with Grandpa for an hour or two, so she was in better spirits and ready to play.

When Larissa was a little older, she called her uncles Rod and Bruce “the guyses.” She always looked forward to playing with “the guyses” whenever she visited the farm. And eventually her teeth did come in, and she was a lot more cheerful!

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