That is how my paternal grandfather was addressed by his children and later on, his grandchildren. My grandfather was not a hands on kind of family man. His children have told tales of violent whippings with little or no chance of prior conversation. I don't remember much about him growing up even though I spent a lot of time with my grandmother.
He was a pilot, his license number was 5. He was a man's man. Those were the days before policital correctness, he worked - his wife raised the kids and he only got involved when someone stepped Over the line. He was adopted out by his father after his mother died, he and four other siblings, the father kept the youngest one. I am named after his sister who was also quite a character. Spent her life in Costa Rica, married 4 pilots and lost them all to crashes and was reported to be driving motorcycles at 75.
Grandma went to the Baptist church for as long as anyone could remember, Growler never went. He scholarshiped his distrust of religion down to his sons and daughter, who in turn passed it to my generation. He must have had a soft side even though I can't remember one. He always called us Suzie-Q. He couldn't remember our names so Suzie-Q it was to all girl grandchildren and daughter-in-laws. He is most famous for his fishing philosopy. A fierce sportsman, fishing was everything to him and it wasn't something to be shared. If someone suggested making it a family affair, he would say, " It's not fishing if there are women and children involved, its a picnic". It wasn't like we ever wanted to go. It was what it was.
He watched me get married and he watched himself become a great grandfather. It was the most tender I had ever seen him with a child, maybe he couldn't believe he was that old or the part of his life that had he had never been quite comfortable with, made sense. He also met Jesus when he was in his 70's. In one of the last conversations we had, his first question was, "You still reading your bible?...Good".
He was a man of few words, a man of mystery but he is one of very few that I am anxious to catch up with in heaven. My grandma passed away befroe he did but they lived in the same nursing home. After she died, they said he was lost without her and he died shortly after. Men of those days were stoic, I guess he did think she hung the moon, probably her cooking. The woman could cooking like nobodys business. She was as tall as she was round, he was tall. They looked so funny together.
Haven't thought about them for a long time but the picnic quote came to mind yesterday. I was pondering over an concept and I thought about how policital correctness , at times, has changed and diluted what is pure. Thanks for the reminder, Growler. Talk to you later...
Posted by email@example.com at Wednesday, January 24, 2007