My Grandfather died last week at the age of 92. I gave a brief remembrance and it went something like this . . .
My grandfather was a man of few words, but many actions and more specifically many traditions. He was a “traditional guy” and because of this fact I have very specific, fond, repetitive memories from childhood.
Thanks to Pop:
I know how waterway locks work. We would go to Niagara falls every summer with my grandfather and he would make us sit for hours at the Welland Canals to watch the ships come and go. I won’t lie to you. It was torture for a 7-yr-old, but when recently asked, “Why is Akron full of old desecrated canal locks and what were they for anyway,” I had some thorough knowledge to impart.
I love cookies for breakfast. In fact, I believe it is a small crime that I can not still get away with eating a breakfast of cookies like I did as a youngster. Every summer, we stayed at the lake house with my grandparents, and every morning Pop would take my brother and me to the grocery to get donuts. The nice lady at the Super Duper bakery knew us all well, and gave Mike and me huge cookies, which we ate on the way home unbeknownst to our parents who then would try and fail to give us healthy breakfasts.
I think of him when I smell coins. Every time Mike and I saw him at his house in Lakewood Ohio, he would take us upstairs to his closet and pull out the tin milk jug filled with coins. He kept sandwich bags up there too and we’d both get to dive our little hands into the jug and grab as much change as we could. But we only got one try, so, as one might guess, we stretched our fingers and kneaded the change for a few minutes before pulling out our dripping fists. Then he’d tie a little knot in the bag and send us on our way with our 60 or so cents that always felt like a million dollars.
He was a good guy, a good patriarch for our family, and he will be missed.