Being that the day of this writing is Valentine’s Day, it reminded me of one year long ago when I was in the pharmacy and happened to run into my Grandpa. I asked him if he was going to buy a box of chocolates or some flowers for Grandma. He looked at me like I was nuts. He’d never done such a thing. In fact, if he did, Grandma would probably think he’d hit his head and wasn’t in his right mind. Well, I goaded him into it. He bought a heart-shaped box of chocolates and yes, she wondered if Hades wasn’t freezing over.
Anyway, this got me thinking about Grandpa.
My Grandpa was one of a kind. I know, we all think that way about those we love and remember, but he truly was. He had this way of taking care of business by forging ahead with what needed to be done without really seeing the whole picture. He was laser focused on the task ahead. If you disagreed, or had other plans, good luck.
There was the time Grandpa took my dad and his little sister to the woods with him on a day equipment needed to be moved out of a logging job. He was short a man and needed someone to drive the pickup with a trailer out to the highway. He directed my dad to take his sister and do the job. My dad was ten years old and his sister was seven. Now, I know most of you are gasping at this, but it was in the forties and my dad was raised on the logging jobs and the farm. So, the two of them jumped up into the truck, and barely able to see over the steering wheel, my dad drove them out, stopping once they got to the highway, to wait for Grandpa.
As they waited, a State Trooper drove up and upon seeing these two little heads peeking out above the dash and no adult, felt compelled to stop. The trooper walked up, asked what they were doing, and when my dad explained they were waiting for their father to come. The Trooper then asked where the person is that drove them out of the woods.
My dad proudly answered, “I did.”
The Trooper exclaimed, “You can’t do that!” He then waited with them. I imagine Grandpa got a chewing out when he arrived. Can you imagine that now?
You have to realize he was young in a time when there weren’t so many laws. For the sake of his freedom, that was a good thing.
There are some great stories out there about Grandpa.
On a hunting trip one year, a stray bullet from another hunting party, blew his hat off, making a nice, clean cut along the top of his head. Most would hit their knees, tears streaming, grateful to be alive. Grandpa simply dusted himself off and continued hunting.
Once, Grandpa pulled up in his car to pick up my aunt, who at the time was a teenager. He misjudged and drove right over her foot. She screamed and cried, “my foot!” Grandpa’s reply, “It’s just your foot, get in.”
There was the time he walked into the unguarded power take-off of his tractor. The shaft caught his pants leg and pulled him into the machine, shredding the material and a good amount of his skin. Just as it reached the belt-line, his belt broke and freed him. Thankfully, his frugality in belts saved his life. He was down and out a while after that.
I could go on and on, and probably write a book about his escapades, but I don’t think I could truly capture his indomitable character. But if I could…Naw, no one would believe it.