His long nose unevenly divided a face that was strong, noble, and weather-beaten.  China blue eyes spelled mischief as well as cynicism, and the grayish-blond locks (much too long) lazily curled behind one ear lobe. The other, half removed after a mishap with the Jeep Scout and a telephone pole on a beer-and-whisky-shots evening at Phil’s Tavern, would no longer hold back the hair. So he often raised a large tanned hand to brush a few stray strands away from his face.  He towered over all of us – broad shoulders filling the doorway. We all called him Mick, but the name on his birth certificate was Stanley. He was one of my most unforgettable characters, and if you had known him, you would surely agree.

Stanley “Mick” Warmington hailed from Sedgeberrow, a village on the main road between Evesham and Cheltenham in merry old England. One of his sisters, known as Spatz, came to visit during a summer I was attending riding camp. “Peasants with refrigerators!” was the only thing I ever remember hearing her say in her clipped British accent. I guess she didn’t like Americans very much, or maybe she just missed her youngest brother and was not happy that he lived an entire ocean away from home.

Mick was the youngest of eleven children. He was a great storyteller, captivating audiences, young and old. When he was born, Mickey Mouse was a popular cartoon. Mick’s large ears protruded from the sides of his head, and so he told us he acquired his nickname after the famous cartoon character. I’m not sure I believed him.

 Mick April Me 2