Monday, June 17, 2013

Grandpa V. and Grandpa R.

Yesterday was Fathers Day and I was lucky enough to be able to spend the afternoon with my dad and the rest of my family. It made me think about my parents who have both lost their fathers in recent years. It put my grandfathers in my mind. I miss them but remembering what amazing people they were makes me thankful for the time I had with them and it’s a good feeling.
Grandpa V and Grandpa R

Have you ever watched the movie 16 Candles? I grew up in the 80’s so anything with Molly Ringwald was a prerequisite. One of my favorite things about the movie is the difference in Grandparents. I always thought it was strange how different my grandparents were until I saw this movie. Then I realized there are probably a lot of people out there who have grandparents like mine. On the one had I had the very conservative religious “do the right thing” grandparents and on the other hand I had the very liberal “live your life and make no apology” grandparents.  This was great for me, I think a healthy dose of both makes a good balance and recipe for life.
I’ll start with grandpa R. He had an infectious laugh and would turn bright red from laughing so hard. He cursed at IU basketball games, proclaimed to be an atheist, thought all politicians were pond scum, loved to tell ghost stories and watch creepy movies, he drank Tab, loved his mean dog Muffin ( the family joke was that we’ve all been bitten by her), and always told my sister and I great stories of the horse Frankie kept in the attic. Frankie was a character he made up for us and would do a silly voice. When we were older Frankie got a gorilla and kept it in the wooded area behind their house. He said the woods were misty…get it…gorillas in the mist! He was so silly but he was also a man of opinions who made no apology for it. If you didn’t like it, he didn’t care. This made him really good at giving great advice. He also always made sure to tell you that you were worth a million bucks, you were beautiful, talented, and could do whatever you wanted in life. This picture pretty much says it all, my favorite thing about Grandpa R. was how silly he was.  
Grandpa R being the Boogie Man!

Grandpa V. could not have been more opposite. He was a good Lutheran, always serving his church and community. He even received a few awards from the Governor for his service. He loved to sail his boat with my grandmother, he traveled, and was heavily involved in politics. He played the violin, had season tickets to the symphony, smoked a pipe, drank his coffee black, ate butter and lunch meat sandwiches that I thought were so gross. He loved big family get-togethers where all my aunts, uncles and cousins would rent cabins for the weekend at Lake Shakamak State Park. He always had a huge smile on his face the very minute he saw you. He also gave great advice and encouraged you to follow your talents and dreams. One of my favorite memories of Grandpa V. was him watching Sense and Sensibility with grandma and I. He kept trying to guess what was going to happen to the broken hearted Marianne Dashwood. This is when I realized he was a romantic as well.   
Grandpa V. always looking distinguished 

I often hate that they are gone, I would give anything to see Grandpa V’s big welcoming smile again and I know Grandpa R. would so be enjoying all the ghost hunting shows that are on TV now! Haha. He loved to tell this story about a demon on the ashtray, but I’ll save that for another time!