Another Throwback Thursday.
This one is of me with my girlies and my grampa
I think Emmer was around six and Ellen was around four. I am sure they would be clearer on their ages. Emily is usually pretty accurate. She can estimate the age by looking at the outfit she is wearing.
It is interesting to me how often thoughts of my grampa come up. Bob and I were at a financial class last night and the guy teaching it was from Rockford. Which is were my Grampa lived. And because of that he’s been in my thoughts a bit today. Grampa passed a while ago, I can’t remember how many years even…eight
He was a stubborn German, often crotchety, he ruled his home with an iron fist. My mom and I lived with he and my gramma for a couple of years and I remember times that everyone had to walk softly so as not to set him off. He was tough. He ate an apple every day…seeds and all and it was my job to shine them for him. In my memories he is mostly laughing and telling horrible jokes. Jokes that I now share with my own kids and realize that, like him, I don’t care what the audience thinks of the joke, I just need an audience.
He worked in sales and he told me the key to his success was making people feel important. When he left a client he would make notes about them, their likes, their families. Then before visiting them again he would use those notes to remember things that were important to them . This caring about others made him a well-liked and popular guy.
He was stubborn. We called it bullheaded in our family. He was dedicated. He participated in the senior Olympics in Rockford into his eighties. He was rigid. He was a democrat. Much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. As a rule we did not discuss politics because he eventually ended the conversation with a slapping of the table and an exclamation of, “You are wrong.” You knew that now the conversation was over.
I kind of liked getting him riled up. I would do my research. Prepare my arguments and then I would bring up a political dilemma and I would challenge his beliefs. I am not one to say you are wrong. I had an honest interest in hearing what made him believe what he did. We would go round and round. He would get so frustrated with me. One time we had debated for long enough that, one by one the rest of the family left the table. Later they all told me that I was definitely out of the will with that one.
I know he liked our dance. My sister says she thinks he liked the fact that I shot straight from the hip with him. I never treated him with kid gloves.
He and I were talking at one point about him maybe having to use an electric wheel chair and I told him we would get him a sporty model so all the ladies would like him and that we would put a bumper sticker on the back that said “Ass, gas or grass. No one rides for free.” He loved that idea.
We lived with Gramma and Gampa for about three years. I was five when we moved in. His favorite game was to tell me at the end of the night that there was strawberry shortcake in the freezer for dessert and with glee I would run to freezer, fling it open and look…but there wasn’t any. I would say that nine out of ten times there was none. We both lived for that one time that there was.
I miss you Grampa.