Monday, May 25, 2009

Memories for Memorial Day

I was thinking about my grandfather today, it being Memorial Day and all. My paternal grandfather was this wonderful, wickedly funny guy. He was in World War II, and was at the liberation of Dauchau, although he refused to talk about it.

He married my grandmother after he got back, in 1946. They were married until he died in 2002.

I love this picture of them from Christmas 1985. They're in the back corner talking to each other, ignoring what the adults are looking at. I have no idea what it is. Anyway, back row from left: me, my brother, my mom who had to have been fairly pregnant with my sister although you can't tell, my aunt, Grandpa and Grandma. In the front is my oldest sister Deetz holding a child I vaguely recognize. I think that's one of my aunt's kids, probably the middle one. She was a few years younger than me. Next to her is Doodah and another woman and child I don't know. That may be my father walking away behind my mom.

Here he is in 1929, at around age 6. He never knew if his birthday was July 31 or August 1. We usually celebrated it on the July date. I want to say I found out for certain it was July when I was doing some genealogy research, but I can't say for sure.

Grandpa is in the back here, fifth from left, apparently talking to the guy next to him. The only other person I know in this photo is my great-uncle, Grandpa's brother, who has also passed. He's second from left.

He inherited a grocery store that had evolved into a greenhouse from his parents. My dad inherited it from him, and ran it until 2004.

I have no idea when this picture was taken. I think he retired sometime in the mid-nineties, so I would guess this is sometime in the '80s.

Here he is with my sister Lou when she was about four months old. If you look in the background you can see the house my dad lived in from about his mid-teens until he moved out. My grandmother didn't leave this house until after my grandfather died. I lived in it for a little while after that in 2004, until it was sold. Do you know that when I moved in the trim was still that same color, and the counters were still that same gold? My great-grandfather built that house, which was unfortunately torn down after my parents sold the business.

We might go visit his grave after Mr. Man wakes up from his nap. I haven't been since the burial, but I've felt him around me several times. I smell his pipe tobacco. Some day I'll have to write about the things that happened to me when I lived in that house, but for today I'll leave it at this.

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