Sunday, February 15, 2009


Grandpa was a stern, earthy old teddy bear. When he was troubled, the entire household knew it. A command never had to be repeated. His pipe smoking, tobacco chewing and asthma powder burning rendered him smelly and his apparent dislike of shaving made for constant stubble that could either soothe a ruffled feather with a giggle or bring a squeal of displeasure. He was top rooster in his household. At Grandpa's table there would be no talking. We children would file onto the bench at the back side of the table and sit quietly as he prayed a blessing for the food and for his family. He would then pass a bottle of "Vim Herb", the day's remedy for health and wellness, and while it made its way around the table he would butter each child's biscuit and personally deliver it across the table. Food was served from the table with nary a flinch at what was put on the plate.

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