Wednesday, June 10, 2009

angie's great grandfather and danny's talent for writing

my brother-in-law wrote this note on facebook after finding out his great grandfather had passed away.

"My great-grandpa died in his chair today.

My grandma asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee this morning and he said yes, but he didn’t live long enough to drink it. I think he was ninety-six.

He was a quiet man most of the time I knew him, but certain subjects would get him pretty animated. When he got started on a tangent he was hilarious. I only wish I could have been on the phone the time he got the call from the city saying he had to paint his shutters or something like that. He called my uncle in a rage cussing and complaining about the Ferguson Gestapo.

He liked to tell us about how poor he was as a child. So poor, he said, that he wasn’t allowed to shoot a rabbit for dinner unless there were two lined up and he could kill them both with a single shot. So poor, he said, that his excuse for being late to school was that he was last in line to use the toothbrush.

I was probably 10 or 11 when a few of us sat on his back porch eating popsicles. He told us to just make sure we didn’t eat the sticks. “One time,” he announced, “I ate a bunch of popsicle sticks and pooped a two-by-four!”

Great-grandma: “Pa!”

Great-grandpa: “Well it’s true!”

His house was heat, an uncomfortable couch, a magnifying glass on the newspaper, underwear in the recliner, and Wheel of Fortune turned up to 11. He was married to my great-grandma forever as far as I’m concerned.

When we’d visit for Christmas he’d play Silent Night on the harmonica. Other times he’d disappear into his room and come out and entertain us with an accordion he found in a barn as a teenager.

His and my great-grandma’s house was notorious among the cousins for having a candy bowl on every table. When we finished a Starburst and took him the wrapper he’d fold it into a little boat. As we got older (or smarter, or both) he taught all of us how to make one for ourselves. When I think of my great-grandpa I always think of Starbursts, and when I see Starbursts I always think of my great-grandpa. I still make a boat every time I eat a Starburst.

He had a mean streak that I never saw. He has pictures that show him as strong. He was a good man, and now he’s gone."

you will be missed. if only we all could live a life like yours.

1 comment:

Matthew Paul Turner said...

Wow. I'm so sorry. My love to Angie and the rest of the family. Will be praying.