Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goodbye to a storyteller.

Just about a week ago I wrote another short goodbye.  This morning I received a phone call and was informed that my grandfather had died.  I don't have a link to an official writeup, cause it isn't published yet... but the general facts that will be in it will include such things as married to Leona, 6 sons, around 20 grandchildren ( I've counted a few times, named us all, and get 19 18 each time, but I don't trust myself and don't feel like doing any fact checking at the moment -- I'm sure you understand ), and 4 great-grandchildren

Just about anywhere I travel within my county I run across someone that a) I'm related to or b) knows me or c) knows people in my family.  If one of those 3 things doesn't hold true it is because the person is usually a "newcomer" to the area.  Depending on where you live you may think that is completely normal, or you may find it odd and disconcerting.  But that is life around here for me, and my grandfather is is one of the driving forces behind it.  First he is a member of a largish family, that itself was created out from largish families, and he and my grandmother carried on the tradition by having a largish family themselves.  Second, he held big opinions and wasn't afraid to share.  In an area with such an efficient gossip network, that has a way of raising your profile.

He told stories, I can't recall all of them, but I was listening.  Even if they weren't directed towards me-- or even appropriate for my age ( my parents called me Ears when I was younger, I had a tendency to eavesdrop ).  He also had a way with numbers-- particularly money.  Most of us estimate, but he could quickly calculate things down to the penny in his head, and wasn't satisfied until he was sure he was correct.  I usually dive for paper or a calculator if I really want to be correct with my numbers.  He didn't need to.

So, again I find myself writing a goodbye.  And again I hope this will not become a habit, its not very much fun.

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