Monday, March 7, 2011

Grandpa......

The old man was special to me.  There was a depth to him that set him apart.  He was a dreamer, a spiritual whirlpool that could---and did---mesmerize a young boy.  

As a youngster himself---just 17 years old or so---he was whisked from his rural Missouri home to serve with the American Expeditionary Forces in the great WWI.  Oh, what an education he got from that!  Sometimes he would talk about the time he spent in France, and I loved hearing about his experiences there.

Grandpa's Handwritten Caption at the Bottom Reads "Full War Paint".  Taken in France C 1917. 
 The man---Fred was his name---or, more correctly, Frederick---came from a dirt-poor background.  He was born on the American prairie, and his family had no money.  Apparently, however, they did have love, which I have come to understand is all anyone really needs.

Grandpa and Me at Chicago's Comiskey Park for a White Sox Baseball Game, C 1954
 He seldom raised his voice; but when he did, people listened.  He was quiet most of the time, and people used to say that my grandma was really the leader of their home, because she was much more vocal.  But people were wrong about that.

When he was 86 years old, grandpa fell one day at home and broke his hip.  They took him to the Veteran's Hospital.  He languished there for two months.  Grandma was there with him the whole time. 
A Favorite Photograph of My Grandparents

And then one day they came into the waiting room and told us that the old man had passed away.  My mom, grandma and I went to see his body.  Grandma touched him as he laid there.  "He's so cold....." she said in a low, sad tone. 

He died in 1986---a quarter century ago.  Funny, you know, how  he lives even today within me.  It's almost like he never passed away at all. 

16 comments:

  1. Aww what a great post! I love the War paint pic! hehe. Happy Monday to you and yours :)

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  2. Yes people do live on nno matter how much time elaspes. The good memories sustain us through many a dark day.

    Have a good day.
    Yvonne.

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  3. What a nice story. Great photos.

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  4. What a great legacy. I love old pictures like that! Makes me think of my grandma...she died when she was 100!

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  5. This was a great post. Sounds like a wonderful man...

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  6. this is so nice. i'm working on a post for my mom-mom. we all live on in the hearts of those we touched.

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  7. Hi Clint -

    Thank you for sharing your family photos, and the loving words about your grandparents.

    I enjoyed looking at your photos, especially the one of you and your grandfather. You both have looks of joy.

    And I love your grandfather's "Full War Paint"
    message. Yes indeed, I love that, Clint!

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  8. you've been awarded the 'one lovely blog' award. hope it's not too girlie for you.=)

    http://animalfriendlyeating.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-award.html

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  9. hello Clint, first time coming by .. you have a nice blog over here... those we love, we feel that they are always with us..

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  10. He would have loved your tribute to him. The folks who are important to us leave pieces of themselves behind and they are never really lost to us. Have a good day, Clint. Blessings...Mary

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  11. That must be so beauftyful when yout think of your grandparents. I miss my grandpartents too.
    Greetings Sabine

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  12. I love old family pictures. All very special memories.
    Best wishes und blessings from Inken (Germany)

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  13. My Grandma is still in my heart. Thanks for sharing this and I'm so glad you had such a wonderful Grandpa.

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  14. People you love will ever be in your heart, and that is so good.

    Thanks for sharing the story about your grandpa, I loved it.

    Sunny greetings

    Petra

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