Though probably shorter in stature than my father (his brother Ben), he always seemed much bigger, like Tigger, because of his high bounds and leaps especially with the spoken word.
Given the name Robert Edward Royall Huntley, the man so large that 3 names could not contain him, Uncle Bobby is decidedly not unctuous. See synonyms for unctuous: sycophantic, ingratiating, obsequious, fawning, servile, groveling, subservient, cringing, humble, hypocritical, insincere, gushing, effusive
–all words which I can picture Uncle Bobby bumptiously spitting out of his mouth as highly offensive, much as my Bamber might have.
At 85, RERH is just as interesting and fascinating to be with as he was as a young man in his 30’s and 40’s and 50’s . . . and gracious. On our two visits to see him in the last year, my son Ben and I have been royally wined and dined in a high style befitting someone with 4 names Robert Edward Royall Huntley, and a Royall with 2 l’s of course as my Bamber would insist.
Our visits with Uncle Bobby and his grown children and grandchildren have been lively, great fun sharing rambuctious stories, touching pictures, letters from the past and best of all personal anecdotes about our family.
Precious to me are the impressions and memories of my Uncle Bobby’s mother and father as well as impressions and memories of my mother and father, long departed, that Uncle Bobby has shared with us.
But I believe what has touched me most, is how the extremely accomplished and decidedly un-unctuous Uncle Bobby has sought to understand our lives.
As Ben and I have been on the edge of our seats drinking in tales of Washington and Lee, the history of Lexington, and Bobby’s personal adventures in the world of the rich and powerful, Uncle Bobby pauses and intentionally turns the conversation back to us in the manner of a deeply humble man–wanting to understand our perspectives of the past and our stories.
It’s been a special time under a banner of grace, joy and love with the decidedly un-unctuous Robert Edward Royall Huntley, my Uncle Bobby.