Friday, June 4, 2010
Today would have been my Grandfather's 88th birthday. He died when I was a very young girl, but I still remember him and my grandmother. There was nothing more important to them than family. They raised four boys (my father is the oldest) and were surrounded by brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. There were three grandchildren when they passed away (I was the first girl), two more came after their deaths. They loved us and always made sure we knew it.
I've heard people say that my grandfather was a big man. In fact many people called him "Big Johnny". I never thought of him as big. I realize now that is because he always got down on my level to talk to me. He did however have huge hands and all future great-grandchildren's hands have been compared to his.
One of my favorite memories of my grandfather was when he took my brother and I to the fair in Napa. We were going to the fair and the destruction derby. All the cars had to park in a dirt lot which was a little drive from the actual entrance to fair. Grandpa told the gate attendant that he had a bum leg that was injured in the war and requested special parking. We got to park in the first row!
My grandmother was a very special lady as well. When I was really little we lived on the same property as grandma and grandpa and got to visit them just about every day. It seemed that every time we visited she had something new for John and I. One of our favorite things to do with her was paint on the kitchen table. I thought she was magic that her coloring books would change color when we painted them with water. She also always had chocolate kisses. She would pull them out of the cupboard and tell us not the let the "boys" know where they were. I always thought it was funny that she referred to my dad and his brothers as boys.
When we have weekends together as a family like we did with Gimme Five last week I think about how happy it would have made my grandparents. How great that the legacy of family that they created lives on.