Avery’s Legacy


~ Photo by Mandy White ~ Clearcut at McClure Mainline, Vancouver Island, Canada ~

Our family tolerated Uncle Avery’s eccentricities, given his service record, but secretly they considered him to be the family nutjob – just another crazy old pothead veteran. Most of my relatives only listened half-heartedly when Avery talked, but I found his stories entertaining. Avery was great company beside a campfire. Many a night I sat, riveted by his often graphic accounts of his many brushes with death during his time as a military pilot in the Middle East. As time passed, Avery’s tales veered away from war stories toward current events, which morphed into apocalyptic and inevitably to conspiracy theories.

He was convinced that “The Big One” was coming any day. He claimed to have seen all the signs: flocks of birds; unusual clouds; numbers in the subway that matched the birthdates of members of our…

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