UNCLE ROB: The inspiration behind the character
Uncle Rob is loosely based on my own Uncle Ed, who died of AIDS in 1994 and is pictured above with me when I was about 3 years old. Though Uncle Rob practically raised Julia, I did not have a close relationship with my Uncle Ed while he was alive. I never got to know him until he moved home to Dallas when he was dying. Even then, it was hard to know him well because he was very reserved. Like most of that side of the family, he was also somewhat literary, and when he passed away, we found a novel he had written. In the novel, a "bachelor uncle" adopts his orphaned niece and nephew and brings them to the utropian tropical island where he lives. In a trunk inside Uncle Ed's bedroom, we also found a lot of cards and letters that my brother and I had sent him over the years. I had no idea how much he cared about us until after he passed away.