Paw Paw

16 Apr

What concerns me most about my Grandpa’s passing is how many people have compared us over the years.

My PaPa was a crusty old man with a few strands of hair who was missing most of his choppers, although he didn’t have drool and spittle on the corners of his mouth like some old people do.

He was a peripheral figure in my life. I barely knew him, he didn’t start speaking to me until I was about 18 and had bought my first car, a blue ’87 Toyota Celica.

He owned an auto shop so he was my mechanic.

I guess by most standards he was a good man. He didn’t drink, nor smoke or do drugs. He went to church.

He even served in the navy and fought in the war.

He’d come home from his shop reeking of motor oil and eat liver, or fish, or chicken, or whatevre my Granny had cooked for the evening.

Then he’d stretch out on the couch, his unclipped toe nails protruding out of his smelly black socks and fall asleep on the couch, until my Granny woke him up for bed. For years on end, the couch would hold the pungent stench of his auto shup within its cushions.

My granny had told me once that she’d have to continually chide him for the holes in his underware.

When she passed away in ’03, a relative asked that night at his house if he could have the radio that was in one of the back rooms, stating that our grandmother said he could have it.

” Well I tell you what.” My grandpa said. “Why don’t you go back there and ask her again.”

We all cracked up for some reason he was surprisingly funny sometimes.

he wasn’t the type to tend a graden, or take the grandkids fishing, and whe he retired, he spent his days in front of the televison reading the newspaper.

I’td be another five years before i’d have to make that drive to Dallas, Texas to send the old man out in style.

He’d buried his wife, two sisters, a brother and all but two of his eight offspring.

If there is a heaven and he’s up there to rejoin my granny, I hope she gives him hell this time. she made it too easy for him on Earth waiting on him hand and foot.

I thought for sure he’d be next  in line when she booked the great gig in the sky.

I had to give it to the old kook. He was tougher than I thought. I didn’t think he’d make it as long as he did.


2 Responses to “Paw Paw”

  1. pearl April 18, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    Yup! holes in undies. quiet. funny. i dunno know about the smelling like a mechanic part, but falling asleep on the couch…for sure!

  2. Stephen Hilderbrand April 21, 2009 at 12:58 am #

    sorry to hear of your loss…. i imagine he’ll inspire many more stories over the years to come! keep posting ’em.

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