Uncle Joe – Guest Blogger Maree O’Brien

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

My mother Dahlia with her brother Joe Fiore, aka the Bull.

As a special treat today, I asked my sister Maree to guest blog. She wrote Uncle Joe about my mother’s oldest brother, often referred to by his nickname – the Bull. He kept all of the Fiore children in line and was not the kind of guy you’d want to try to fool or disobey. In contrast to his role as family disciplinarian, he was one of the sweetest, kindest men I’ve ever known. Being the youngest, I didn’t get to know him as well as Maree did, so I’m happy to share her memories here.

Uncle Joe

His face wore the tanned, leather-like appearance of one who spent many years out in the elements. Not unlike his father Giovanni Fiore, Joe, his eldest son, too, possessed the tinkling dark brown eyes and the broad grin of a kind and happy man.

Uncle Joe and I were kindred spirits. We both loved animals, horses in particular. Actually anything from toads to elephants earned our interest and affection, just by being.

Neither Uncle Joe’s wife Gilda, nor any others in my immediate family shared a love of beasts like Uncle Joe and me. He had a beautiful collie named Bonny, who lived outdoors all of her life. She did have a beautiful dog house as Aunt Gilda as always eager to point out, because “Animals didn’t belong in the house.”

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