Did you have grandpas full of wisdom? Were they looked upon as knowledgeable, as a person who worked hard throughout their life? Were they happy to see you when you visited, or did they spend their last years living with their family?
I have several pictures on my bedroom wall that I look at every day. One large picture is of a grandpa I never met. He died before I was born. The other pictures are of a grandpa I spent many days with due to him living close by. Both my grandpas were risk takers.
Fred, the one I never met, started his life adventure with the circus. Things were not pleasant at home, so, at age 13, he left with a neighbor in 1894.
The picture of Fred that I referred to before presents him in his circus uniform. He was an aerialist and attired in tights.
Fred fell while practicing without a net. He lived until age 29. It was thought at the time a tumor in the brain was the cause of death. His life was shorten by the fall, but he worked as a bar keep after the circus years.
My inheritance is an equalizer – a twelve-inch piece of lead covered with leather used in the day only when men entered a drinking establishment.
An interesting side note, Fred’s obituary indicates that the pastor who conducted his burial in 1910 was my pastor in 1945.
My grandpa Edward was born in this country in 1898. Shortly after his mother died, his father took him and his brother back to Germany to marry another woman. His family stayed there until the Bismarck; “German Lead” was drafting young men for the Germany Army. His dad thought it was time to return to America. Ironically, when the Spanish-American War broke out, Grandpa Ed volunteered.
The other pictures I have are at his Army training camp in the Smoky Mountains in Eastern Tennessee. He is pictured with two other soldiers in front of his tent for inspection. In the other picture, his unit is pictured around a cooking fire, probably just to finish a meal.
Another adventure of his was riding the rails out to Montana to homestead. I still have a pair of indigenous moccasins he brought for my mother.
Grandpa Ed was proud of the fact his working record at Swift and Company was perfect. In 27 years of employment, he had perfect attendance. He carried sides of beef into coolers.
When he retired, fishing and gardening occupied his time. Tomatoes and beautiful flowers were shared with the neighbors.
Hopefully, you have been fortunate to spend time with your grandpas, too, to gain knowledge of the past so you can better appreciate the present.