You can tell your uncle stuff that you could not tell your dad. That is kind of the role of an uncle. I feel very much like a father sometimes but sometimes I feel like a teammate.
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Within our culture, every school has a swimming pool. We lived on the coast. People swam in the surf. It's a very sporty nation and at that particular time anyone who had an artistic bent was very much an outsider. So if you liked reading or ideas or playing the piano then your dad viewed you as a sissy, basically.