Uncle Elfie knew a good time when he was having it. After my grandfather added up all the clues, he came to the same conclusion... all those years
he thought Elfie's "friends" were just friends and that he had a lot of really unique, different friends. Once he realized that some of these guys were dates, um, yeah, it became clear Elfie was one who didn't turn down anyone, anywhere, for any reason. (My grandmother always wondered why Elfie insisted on doing his own bedlinen laundry despite him being the guest.) He loved everyone, and there were always rumors swirling about how the ladies from 17 to 55 had to keep track of where their hearts were. However, the only example I've found of women being intimately involved with him was the previous story. I attribute this to how back in the old days men looked out for women's honor. They were a little more candid about men's honor or peccadillos, but even then comments about who was doing what with whom were still guarded and spoken in a whisper at the garden gate. People loved Elfie and respected him, but with the way he dressed and sometimes acted around like-minded men, he made Oscar Wilde seem like a Republican. Or so said one of the neighbors I talked to, and when I remarked that my grandmother hadn't said anything odd about him that I knew of, the neighbor corrected me by saying, "oh, your grandmother didn't keep her concerns to herself, she shared them with the entire town." Which, the neighbor admitted, was how she found out most of anything she knew.
I thought it was kind of tasteless what was being whispered in the back pews of the church AT HER FUNERAL, 13 years after the last time anyone saw him, and tried to listen to what was being said at the reception downstairs afterwards (and the ladies would always stop midsentence to see if I was around, so I got plenty of "half the stories" and a few I've found the finishes of since then), but later on once I became an adult people would slip and tell me something or just come out and say "Did you know about the time...?" That's actually where I got most of my information about Uncle Elfie; he'd come over for a day or a week and she'd be very nice, but after he'd leave you'd see her go to the fence or show up at some social event (usually church, but there were other groups too) and gossip like there was no tomorrow. Once in awhile I'd hear what she was saying to her friends at Bridge Club (not that I understood most of it at the time) or at the fence from across the yard when I'd look like I was just playing with my trucks. What's funny is that for all the talking she did, there were SO many details she didn't know until later... and those details were a lot more interesting than the ones she did know and share. Almost of Elfie's secrets disappeared with him. Most of the few secrets that my grandparents knew about Elfie died with them, and a few were just TOO scandalous to share.