>What? Has someone hijacked my blog that is usually about useless musings, chronic complaints and family stories uninteresting to anyone other than myself( and maybe my mother, if she even reads it)? What is this profanity strewn carelessly in modern text across the title? The answer is much simpler and innocent than it appears. In one word, it’s my grandfather. Or, that’s what people called him. Behind his back. No, just kidding. Maybe.
This Christmas I will miss his fart jokes, remember his love of peanut cookies, and how he’d razz my grandmother about inviting his girlfriend from the “home” to Christmas dinner. I’ll remember how he gave me my first beer- a Heineken around the campfire in New Hampshire when I was nine, how his shirt pockets always had root beer barrels and smelled faintly of the cigars he only smoked when my Nana wasn’t around and how he taught me to run my hand down and not up the spine of a sunfish so that I didn’t get stuck with the prickly fins when taking it off the hook.
We’ll talk and laugh about how he fell in the lake and scared the fourteen year old dock boy enough to try and jump in save him- he, being 5’3 and 95 lbs soaking wet, my Pop-pop well over 6’1 and pushing a cool 300 lbs without the water. Someone will tell stories of he and my Uncle Gir’s escapades that we were never supposed to hear. My sister and I will recall the sleep-overs when Pop-pop (who worked nights at A&P) would trample through the side door at 7 a.m. and eat two whole bowls of Honeycombs with a banana as a snack while Nana sizzled three eggs in bacon fat on the stovetop for his real breakfast before he went to bed. How he was the only man I ever met who kept the fridge in the basement well stocked with RC cola.
It was Pop-pop who taught me how to order a steak in fancy restaurant ( should be medium-rare, but I couldn’t handle it until after he had passed. He’d be proud of me now), how to gut a fish for dinner and how to mix a proper Bloody Mary. It wasn’t until after I was old enough to drink that I learned that only he could possibly drink his version of a “proper” Bloody Mary. I learned how to crack open a lobster by his looming, crackling fingers and once spent 12 hours in the car with him on what should have been a 6 hour drive. Life with Pop-pop was very experiential. He wasn’t a “thing” guy, he was a “do” guy. If nothing else, I’d like to remember him for that.