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Monday Musing 9/7/20

Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:36 pm


My grandfather passed away on this day twenty-eight years ago. We all called him Papa. When I was a kid one of my favorite things to do was spend the night with him. My grandmother worked as a telephone operator on the graveyard shift, so I would get to sleep in their bed with him. Even though he snored terribly, I still looked forward to spending the night with him. They had a tiny little television that sat on top of the dresser and most of the time it was a Friday night so we would watch “The Love Boat" and then “Fantasy Island” together. Early the next morning, I would be awakened by the whistling of the water pot. For some reason, he loved instant coffee and he always let me have a cup. Drinking coffee with my grandfather always made me feel like I was someone special.

When I spent the night during hunting season we would leave the house on Saturday morning while it was still dark. Everyone had a CB radio at that time and I can still remember the excitement in the air as all of the hunters told what area of the woods they would be scouting, searching for a fresh set of deer tracks. I spent many cold mornings waiting for a deer to come out of the woods after the dogs had been put out. I never once killed a deer or even so much as saw one, but that was fine with me. I didn’t really want to kill a deer. My reason for going wasn’t to bag a trophy, but so that I could spend time with my grandfather.

He was a vegetable farmer, mostly growing tomatoes, watermelons and cantaloupes. I spent many hot days working out in a field for him with my brothers and cousins earning $2 an hour, or less. He always tried to pay us. He had a strong work ethic and did his best to pass that along to his seven grandkids.

One time he took me and my three brothers fishing on his fourteen foot bass boat. I remember a lot of arguing and someone getting their line all tangled up in the anchor rope. I also remember that it ended up being a very short trip. After that, he would only take two of us at the time. However, he still took us. It would have been much easier and certainly less stressful to go without grandkids, but he took us anyway.

When I was around twelve years old he told me that if I got all A’s on my report card he would take me with him on his annual hunting trip to Gunnison, Colorado. I still remember the surprised look on his face when I excitedly showed him my report card. He kept his word, though, and not too long after that we were pulling out of his driveway headed for Colorado. That was one of the best trips of my life, not because of the hunting, but because I got to spend quality time with him.

There are many more things I could write, but some memories are just worth treasuring.

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