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Daily Archives: November 21st, 2021

Today is the anniversary of my grandfather’s birthday, of blessed memory.

He loved pecans so his birthday treat usually contained pecans. Either in the form of a raisin pecan pie, his favorite, or a chocolate cake topped with pecans.

He loved John Wayne movies and I remember watching so many of them that I was surprised to learn there were some I hadn’t seen.

He collected firearms. All types and sorts. I remember watching him disassemble and clean them with fascination. He was so focused and serious. He enjoyed collecting them and target practice. He taught me to say “44 Magnum”, an early addition to my vocabulary.

He tinkered out in his man cave, otherwise known as the carport/garage. I helped him many a time smelt lead for making bullets. I still remember the smell that little crucible put off when it heated the lead.

I used to sit on the steps and just watch him do whatever he was doing. Often it involved WD-40. That smell still takes me back to those wooden steps, sitting with Grandpa.

He always kept a big bottle of Tabasco on his side table. He put it on everything he ate. Therefore, so must I! He also would let an aspirin dissolve in his mouth instead of swallowing it. So I had to as well. One time I saw him drinking apple cider vinegar and, you guessed it, I needed a glass for myself.

He and grandma loved their pets. Over the years there were many. Hinerich, Hinnie for short, the wiener dog was before my time but I heard so many stories of him I thought I knew him. There was Pierre the poodle, the Siamese cats: Sam Ying and Koko Ping, then the birds. They had cockatiels. Three of them. Susie and Toby and the third escapes me. I’m sure my mother or sister will remind me. These birds were so spoiled. I remember Toby sitting on my Grandpa’s fork as he ate. Toby would lean down and nibble a little bite on the way up from the plate! Crazy!

He was a purple heart veteran of WWII. He was opinionated and stubborn. He was my Beanpa, my mentor, my roll model. I loved him so. I remember only twice being in trouble with him. I was crushed. I never wanted to upset him again.

In my mind he was amazing. I know, of course, he was far from perfect. Grandma used to say “don’t speak I’ll of the dead” so I remember the good things and let love cover the other things.

I’m thankful for my experiences with the “Old Codger” (as he called himself). I can still here him call my grandma “Chicken”. He also taught my baby sister Emma to call him “Nicky Baby”. He thought this comic genius.

He held two of my babies before his passing. I’m thankful for the knowledge and wisdom he passed down to me. And for the lessons I learned from him, even the ones not to do. May he continue to rest in peace. CEW.

’97, when he would still get out and about.