Daily Archives: November 11, 2013

My Grandfather

picgpaToday is Veteran’s Day. First and foremost, I’d like to extend a hearty thank you to every man, woman, and animal who has worked to keep us safe, both in our home towns and in other countries.

I thought I’d chat a bit about my Grandfather. I never got the chance to know him, as he died when I was about six months old. But Mom’s stories helped me know the kind of man he was.  He served in the Army for only about a year, being discharged due to “service no longer required”. WWI had ended. In fact, he got to France right around the day the Armistice was signed, so he didn’t have to fight, which I am personally glad for.

His discharge record says his character was “excellent” and his service was “honest and faithful.” I wonder, do they still list things like that on service records these days?  Grampa was a recipient of the WWI Victory Medal, given to all persons who served active duty overseas during the war. I used to love to get it out and stare at it when I was a kid. My mom still has that medal. 🙂

Beyond the war, though, Mom always said Grampa was a quiet man, except when it came to his mischievous sense of humor.  For example, he was driving home in one car while his brother was in the other one. Grampa took a different route and his brother never could figure out how Grampa made it home first. I gather Grampa never explained, either. He was always teasing the kids, too. One cousin of Mom’s still remember Grampa telling her Santa Claus fell off our roof. Hmmm. I guess that could have been pretty traumatic depending on her age at the time, which I’m not sure of.

Grampa  wasn’t demonstrative, so when he hugged you, it meant something, like when his mother died and my mom was crying. To this day, she remembers him putting his arms around her and comforting her.

He spent most of his post-war career working in sawmills, and a lot of that as a head sawyer. That’s the person who decides the best way to cut a log, to get the most out of it. The whole thing sounds pretty complicated to me, and I’ve seen a sawmill in action (compliments of my husband, the steam-mill, and steam-train freak). 🙂

One of eleven children, Mom calls him an “all around good guy.”  He loved his family, and his wife, and, in fact, passed away a short ten months after my Gramma. So I never really got to know him, except through Mom’s eyes. I’m grateful she’s shared stories of him with us. I think it’s important to remember where we come from. It helps guide us in deciding where we are going, right?

How about you? Do you have grandparent or veteran stories? We’d love to hear them.

Have a safe and peace-filled Veteran’s Day!