Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grampy!

Today would have been my maternal grandfather's 100th birthday.  I've have always felt very lucky that all of my grandparents lived at least until I was in college, so I had a close relationship with them.

This is a favorite photo of my grandfather, which I would guess was taken in the late 1920's, when he would have been in his late teens.  It's a photo of him and his mother sitting next to her little vegetable garden.  It's such an unusual photo because later in life he worked for a supermarket chain as the produce manager, and the last thing he wanted to do at home was grow vegetables!
This next one is a few years later when he was in the Coast Guard.  Between the uniform and the car, is it any wonder my grandmother fell head-over-heels in love with him?
I find it ironic that he had four children and 12 grandchildren, but always made it clear that he had no use for children until they were at least eighteen years old.  One of my strongest memories was of a day that he was somehow railroaded into babysitting my brother and me (I was in first grade, my brother in third).  Imagine my mother's horror when she discovered we had spent the day sitting at a bar with my grandfather and his buddies, and that our lunch had consisted of pickled eggs, beer nuts and Coca Cola!  Archie Bunker had nothing on my grandfather!  He wasn't the most nurturing, but certainly one of the most fun!


  1. Tim, I deeply envy you for having known all your grandparents. Both my grandfathers died long before my sisters and I were born, and both grandmothers were gone before I was out of high school. It's a loss I've always felt keenly. This did make me smile anyway - today would have been my parents' 63rd wedding anniversary, so I thought about all the years that it occurred on Thanksgiving Day and the fun parties we had those years. Thanks for bringing up some good memories - great post.

  2. That sounds like more fun than some of my former babysitters allowed us to have.