Monday, November 13, 2006

More Grandpa . . .

Well I had to write another post about my grandpa since one really isn't enough. As I mentioned in my last post, my grandpa always seemed like a big deal to me. It wasn't just that he seemed like a big fish in a small pond, it was also the fact that his life story (and the stories from his life) fascinated me so much as a little girl. . . and still do. As my family and I were sitting around this past weekend sharing stories about grandpa I was reminded of some interesting things I had forgotten about. . . some of the following are things I could never forget, but more than once I found myself having an "oh yeah" moment.

First, not many people can say they were the youngest of 24 children. My grandpa was. He grew up on a small farm in Utah--needless to say they didn't have a lot of money. Both of his parents died by the time he was 15. He was a high school drop out who would later go back to school and become a Doctor of Optometry. He fought in WWII and was awarded 2 Purple Hearts. My grandpa was truly one of the last of the "tough guys." Among other stories of hardship on the farm, there is the famous story of my grandpa getting in a fight with one of his cousins. He broke both of his wrists, but was too afraid to tell his dad. So he never got any medical attention for his broken wrists (no casts) and learned how to do is farm chores without the use of his hands while his wrists healed au natural. As a boy, he once jumped off the top of the barn with an umbrella thinking it would act as a parachute . . . of course it didn't. (Thinking there must have been hay or something to break his fall I once asked if he had just landed on the ground. . . without missing a beat he shot me a look and said "Well I didn't land in the air.") He had a life long love of watermelon. He was so good at selecting tasty watermelons, a neighboring farmer hired him when he was a boy to pick out watermelons for him. Not to pick them, just to turn them over so the actual pickers knew which ones to pick. He was also kind and generous. Apparently there were many patients over the years who could not afford to pay my grandpa, however he would work out alternate forms of payment so they could have the optometric care they needed. He was also generous with his family. I remember when I was in the first grade my grandpa came home with my brand new bike for me. We had never even looked at bikes, or talked about bikes . . . but he saw a bike he thought I should have and he got it.

Thanks for reading. Those who know me well, know I was close to my grandpa and I'll always be grateful for his influence in my life.

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading these stories. What a great life he lead.

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