6 December 1907 - September 2001
My Mother's father was a schoolteacher. He spent 40 years in small towns in Nebraska and Colorado, as a math teacher and superintendent. At birthday and anniversary and funeral, I've met his former students. They all stress his firm discipline, with some admiration, and occasionally stories his wit and humor poke through.
He was a serious man who made good jokes. He was an avid fisherman who loved to work with his hands. He was an expert storyteller, recasting the wisdom and history of the farmlands where he grew up and came to teach.
He believed in the medicinal power of magnets. And certain Mexican trees. He had dozens of vitamin success stories, like taking vitamin E since the 1950s made his onset of Parkinsons in the 1980s miraculously un-severe.
He built sheds and toys and cabins and little dodads. Wherever he lived was a space he crafted. Late in his life, that meant power strips and wallswitches between the powersupplies and the powered-appliances. Turning anything on his room meant dealing with remote controls, wall switches, and ultimately standing aside as Grampa fiddled with the controls.
I knew him only as he was well into aging. He struck me as too stern at times, demanding focus, concentration, and chores from a hyperactive, indulged, media-obsessed city boy. Still I loved fishing, and I learned to appreciate the people and pace of life in his part of the world.
June 2001 Visit
A sound of Grampa (389k aiff)
July 1995, Grampa explained his mortality.