Gramps would skip my nick name “Pud” and go straight to first name asking why I wrote this. Because I love you and want to thank you for being the father I never had. You taught me thru love when I needed it most. Your rules strict and set in cement. You taught me responsibility by setting an example. The nuggets we learn and realize when we’re older. I work to live by your example except for telling dirty jokes and I cuss way more.
I went to work at 15 years old and drove his car. He had me pay $50 for yearly insurance and $8.00 a week for gas, gas cost 0.89 at the time. My first car was a puck green Dodge Duster, the car was ugly but the tunes blared out. I was jamming. The rules were clear-cut, I could only drive my car to school, work, journalism, girls basketball and granny to mall. Granny told me years later he checked to make sure I was working on school paper, I was, he never checked again. When I started dating at 17 years old my curfew was 12:00, not 12:05. No phone calls after 9:00 PM, no leaving the house after 9:00PM, “you could get into no good if leaving after 9:00PM”. If not working I was home by 4:30PM for supper. Both of my grandparents showed me their love. He only raised his voice one time. His temper a slow burn, when it blew there was no convincing him, he might be wrong. He and granny were both stubborn and I didn’t fall far from the tree.
Being raised by the generation who faced the great depression, dust bowl and WWII was a blessing. I heard how poor most people were, you took any job you could get because there went many. How the war effected businesses, many jobs were frozen which meant you could not leave for another job. All efforts at home focused on supporting the war, granny became a riveter, some women worked in large sewing areas and most struggled to keep their head above water. It seems hard to think about today, my grandmother cut tin cans to use for curlers, she had two dresses, every night she had to wash one.
I didn’t have designers clothes, phone in my room, Atari, pool or new car. I never expected nor did I care what others wore or drove. I thought everyone lived this way. Was I naïve.
I miss my grandparents everyday and blessed by the lessons taught. Most important was their love, showing me their love.
“Love is a verb, it ain’t a thing” John Mayer