Top Ingredients for a Positive and Long Healthy Life


What a dream come true to finally introduce all of you to my now 98 year old Uncle Flander Dunham. I recently was able to surprise Uncle Flan by attending his long-time church of 60+ years (First Christian Community Baptist Church) on July 31, 2011. Uncle Flan stood, walked to the choir microphone, and spoke before the congregation about how I was not just any guest at church: “Wallene came all the way from Colorado to see me in Baltimore, Maryland.” He mentioned that my parents (The Late Walter and Effie Wimberly) loved and welcomed him each time he attended the Colorado Baptist Conventions. He asked me if I had brought a copy of “Ringmaster of Life” about him so that I could read it to the congregation.

This short story “Ringmaster of Life” about Uncle Flander Dunham was written on September 19, 2009, and there have been a few monumental changes. First of all, his wonderful wife of 70 years Aunt Ellen Dunham passed away on February 20, 2011. My mother (Sista Momma) Effie H. Wimberly also reached the heavenly plains on January 18, 2011. On July 4, 2011, Uncle Flander Dunham turned 98 years old.

“Ringmaster of Life” will show all ages how to live life to the fullest, and I am praying that it will be an inspiration to those who take the time to read this non-fiction short story:

Ringmaster of Life / Uncle Flander Dunham

There is a wonderful person in our life that has reached a triumphant milestone of 96 years old – Uncle Flander Dunham. He was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina on July 4, 1913 to Macy Coln and Joseph Henry. He has experienced life to the fullest and we all can gain so much wisdom from him. Uncle Flan is the patriarch of the Coln, Dunham and King families on my mother Effie H. Wimberly’s side.

Uncle Flan has visited us in Littleton, Colorado at least three times. His time with us has always been enjoyable, uplifting, positive, knowledgeable, full of laughter, and we never wanted him to go back to Baltimore, Maryland. One of my dad’s requests (Walter Wimberly Jr.) the week that he crossed the heavenly plains on September 12, 2001 was that we contact Flan on a monthly basis. My dad loved Uncle Flan and they had wonderful times together sitting outside on the deck for breakfast.

Thus far in his lifetime he has been a husband to one wife for almost 70 years, father of 6 children, 7 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren, uncle, cousin, family historian, district deputy grandmaster, Chairman of Ways and Means and Program Committee, Inspector General, Deacon, Trustee, Secretary, Retired from Crown Cork and Seal, U.S. Navy, Boy Scout Leader, Member of the National Miniature Circus of the World, and Member of U.S. Steel Workers as well as NAACP and the American Legion to name a few. I consider Uncle Flan the “Ringmaster of Life.”

According to the Merriam-Webster’s On-line Dictionary a ringmaster is “one in charge of performances in a ring (as of a circus), supervisor or moderator especially of a performance or presentation, and/or ringmaster of a talk show.”

In the center of Uncle Flan’s ring is Jesus Christ. He gets his guidance from the Word.

One corner of Uncle Flan’s life involves his love for his family and relatives. He has attended family reunions since August 31, 1968.

Second corner of Uncle Flan’s life involves leadership and a willingness to serve. He attends Deacon conferences out of state representing his church and has served his community in Baltimore, Maryland for over 70 years.

Third corner of Uncle Flan’s life involves his willingness to learn. He has step foot in almost every state except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and North Dakota. He has enjoyed traveling to the Bahamas, Canada, England, France, Germany, and Mexico.

Fourth corner of Uncle Flan’s life is his love for mankind. You never see him without a smile or a kind word to others.

All of us would like the longevity of life as Uncle Flan has experienced. He survived the 1918 influenza epidemic that killed over 50 million people worldwide, the depression of the 30’s, used horse carriages for transportation, was discriminated against during Jim Crow era, attended several inaugurations, and achieved “greatness” through all the different facets of his life.

For those who are easily agitated and become angry, suffer from depression, use drugs or alcohol to relieve their pain, have a violent temperament, and have low self esteem, think of Uncle Flan and how he has been able to endure and make a positive impact for 96 years on earth. He eats a lot of fruits and vegetables. We can all learn from Uncle Flan to remain positive and optimistic in all situations because things in life will improve. If Uncle Flan can endure, so can all of us. He has persevered through prayer and guidance from Christ, and has family, relatives, and friends who love him. Uncle Flan has lived his life with dignity and is highly respected, honored, loved, admired by many and is still living as a ringmaster of life who we pray will reach 100+ years.

F Family oriented

L Loved

A Adored

N Noble

D Devoted to Jesus

E Enjoys Life

R Respected

D Deacon and Trustee for over 50 years

U Uncle forever

N Noticeable Infectious smile

H Historian for Coln, Dunham, and King families

A Approaching 100 years

M Memorable times

Written by: Miss Wallene J. Wimberly – 9/19/2009

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