Clumping Grandpa Part I – The Death

Well, it’s been an interesting holiday season.

Mostly to do with grandpas.

First mine died:

Then we went to visit the fiance’s for Christmas:

And then we went to the memorial of mine:

A little over a year ago my grandfather was riding a zip line for 3 hours through the Georgia mountains. It was his 90th birthday.

A few weeks ago he was partying it up in the Bahamas.

Shortly before Christmas, he had a seizure and went to the hospital. He had a second one while at the hospital and passed away without pain and within a few hours at 91-years-old. He was petty, funny, bull-headed, practical, and a royal flirt. He didn’t care about right angles, or dog hair, or safety. He was cantankerous and deeply sweet. He made me laugh and he gave me shit and took it back. He was one of my favorite people in the world. I will carry his stories with me always.

My grandfather was born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1921. He never wore jeans because they were ‘a poor man’s pants.’ He couldn’t spell and used to say that was why he joined the air force as a mechanic. He was a builder- he built model airplanes, real airplanes, and full motorcycles from parts that arrived in barrels of oil.

He once offered to build one with me. I am sorry I never took him up on it.

(His father had ridden on an old Indian motorcycle from North Dakota to Oregon to go a courtin’. He rode along the railroad tracks because there were no roads.)

My grandfather built my dad and his brothers a suit of armor from old paint cans and a giant pink submarine, suspended on chains, probably from the old barrels.

I remember tiny tanks and airplanes made out of nuts and bolts. With the help of his sons and over the course of about 20 years he built his own home on a lake in Georgia. One side of the house was glass. There was a secret passage, a haunted sauna, a false wall in the library and 3-story fireman’s pole.

This pole was totally awesome.

Except to the aunts, who were pretty sure we’d die.