This didn't come as a surprise to me and I told him so. "I remember all the stories you've told us about how Uncle Nate stood in as a second father for your after granddad died. Uncle Nate has also acted like a father figure to me whenever you were stationed overseas during your stint in the army."
"That's true," Dad nodded and then looked at me, "But did you know he's also been a father figure to a great many other people?"
"Of course I know, I hang out with a number of them like Jack, Tom, and..."
"I don't mean just here in Pointer, Brian," he interrupted me. "I mean elsewhere. There are a lot of families here in the United States, as well as across the sea who he's watched over and been second father to as well. And they don't get to see him nearly as often as we do. But they stay in touch with him all the same."
"What do you have in mind?" asked Mom at that point, with a knowing look on her face.
"I think you already know, my dear," he replied and then proceeded to outline the plan.
The only thing missing was the guest of honor himself. That became my job. Luckily, I knew an easy way to get Uncle Nate to come to town. I simply sent him an e-mail saying there were reports that the town council was thinking of trying to put his family manor up for sale, again. They've discussed this several times in the past, but never made any headway. Mostly because Uncle Nate would show up and pay a 'visit' to certain parties that always led to the motion being shot down.
Admittedly, this could be considered a little underhanded, but at least it would bring him running when the time was right. And sure enough he did.
In the e-mail I told him a bunch of us were meeting down in The Crypt this Sunday night to see what action we were going to take and that his presence and advice would be greatly appreciated. Naturally we all knew he wouldn't show up until the evening, or even if he was already at the club, he'd be in the lower sub-basement resting. In either case we'd be able to set things up for the party without his knowing.
There were many others present but one man stood out in particular, in spite of his small stature. He arrived a little late once the party was in full swing, but when he entered the room fell silent. The white hair, the round thick glasses, and the cigar in his hand made him very easy to recognize. At least one person murmured, "Oh my God..."
At which point the fellow shook his head and said in his famous gravelly voice, "Not really, but close enough."