29 February 2008

Reminded of Gramps

My dad's dad, who lived nearby, was 83 when he passed away the day before Easter, 1995. I was 27. That's a good long time to get to know your grandpa-lots of good memories created. Fishing, farming, long drives and.......cigars. I loved gramp's cigar smoke and on occassion when I'm around it, it reminds me of those boyhood days tagging along with grandpa to the elevator or sale barn.

On this recent retreat, I learned that my buddy also smoked cigars. I told him he reminded me of gramps.......and he insisted I try one. I had never smoked in my life, but I tried it and actually, it was a good bonding experience. And as the smoke swirled around the back porch of the cabin.......I couldn't help but think of gramps.

Gramps was never big on advice. He was fun to be with and was witty with his responses. But, man, I miss him at times. I really wish my kids could have known him......so long as he didn't offer them any of "grampa's candy" aka chewin' tabbacky. My dad acts a lot like him....and I suppose I will too someday, although I don't plan to take up cigars.

He was struck by lightning when a teenager, out in the field while rounding up cows; he lost hearing in one ear due to it, which excluded him from military service. He told me stories about rubbing turpentine on cat's behinds and turning them loose to run down Michigan Street in Argos, Indiana, which evidently got quite a rise out of the dogs who chased them beneath the legs of horses parked with buggies. He also told me about moving privies a few feet back so that folks in the middle of the night would get a rude awakening. He also told me about putting a farmer's cow on the roof of their house once......that was hard to believe. I remember him at 78 climbing apple trees to shake the fruit loose, and at about 74, piling up bundles of shingles on his shoulder and climbing an extension ladder to roof his house.

So, I smoked a cigar in remembrance of a great character of a man. To you gramps!


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My grandfather smoked a cigarette after dinner...I can actually remember the smell of that smoke and the tobacco in the cigarette pack. I can also remember my grandmother always telling him that he shouldn't smoke and she strictly limited his smoking to one, next to the corner kitchen window. I never had the desire and now find tobacco smoke offensive but that smoke from my childhood is a pleasant memory. Now I will admit that I have a bottle of Old Spice that I use occasionally that I remember was always used by my Grandpa after his shave using a beaver tail brush and shaving mug!

Anonymous said...

Old Spice?

I don't think I could do that.

Cigarette smoke reminds me of our "round table" at the local diner while I was in college. Good times around it-and I learned more there than at university!

I'll have to post on that.
HR

jason said...
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