Monday, December 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

My grandfather's birthday was on Saturday. He has made it to the blessed age of 87. He lives in North Carolina. He is in Martin County along the Roanoke River. My family has deep roots in that part of the state and Martin County specifically that goes back 150 years. My grandfather is a great source of information and a direct link to the past. He is a joy to talk to because he has become quite the conversationalist in his older years. I have so much to thank him for. He arbitrarily talks about his youth and usually the happiest times of his life. It's funny...he doesn't talk about past loves, but of past cars. I don't care what question I asked he would always mention the car that he owned around that time. I asked him about the time that he asked for my grandmothers hand in marriage in 1945. He responded with, "I had a green 1938 Chevrolet." Well, he did mention that there was another girl that wanted him to marry her, but he wanted my grandmother especially.

He also talks about the best car that he'd ever owned. It was a 1966 Dodge. He said that he paid for it in 8 easy payments from a private owner. I think that he talks about cars so much because he wants to drive again. He hasn't been able to drive since he took a fall and broke his hip. This is very difficult for a man that has spent most of his life behind the wheel. It meant freedom to him and most importantly mobility. Grandpa Bess is truly a blessing. He taught me so much as a man. He even taught me how to tie my first neck tie. I still remember the moment as we both stood in the mirror going through the steps. I remember being so happy and proud when I finally tied it correctly. I can still see remnants of that young boy in the mirror, but he is all grown up now. He is a man now and I owe it all to grandpa.
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