Even thought it has been a relatively short period of time since the loss of my grandfather it feels like it was forever. I suppose that this is due to some of the things that happened prior to his death.
In August it will be three years since my grandmother died and looking back it is easy to see how her loss weighed upon him and helped to accelerate his decline.
When my grandfather was happy there was a twinkle in those soulful blue eyes of his. It was joined by a smile that always made you wonder what kind of mischief he was about to get into. It is the same kind of look that people say I have.
My buddy G says that whenever I get that look he knows it is time to hold onto his wallet and prepare himself for some kind of trouble, mostly the kind that involves way too much fun.
I suppose that you could call my grandfather a bit of a rascal. He loved to read and spent hours absorbed in books, but had little interest in being tested upon his knowledge. School was never his thing. He never went to college but he was street savvy and easily navigated his way through the world.
He spent time as a carnie in a traveling carnival, was a veteran and held various salesjobs. He loved to gamble and spent part of his time in the service as a pool shark.
There are hundreds of stories about things that he did. Here is one that has always been a favorite of mine.
At one point in time during his high school career he got himself into trouble and was suspended from school. In order to be readmitted the school insisted that he come back with his father.
My grandfather knew that to bring back his father would mean being punished at home and came up with a plan to avoid his father's displeasure.
So he paid a man that he knew to come to school and pretend to be his father. The two of them sat down and listened as the school administration explained what the problem was and why my grandfather had gotten into trouble.
Midway through this lecture the man pretending to be my grandfather's father belted him on the head and swore that when he got home he would be severely punished for his transgressions.
Once the meeting ended and they were back on the street my grandfather angrily confronted the man and asked him what the hell he was thinking.
"You wanted it to look real, didn't you," came the reply.
And that is just one of the many stories I know about my dear grandfather.