Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, January 16, 2012

Wondering – through the eyes of my Grandpa.

I never got to know my Dad’s father, since he died when I was very young. (Yes, I was young once!!) I did get to know my maternal grandpa, and he was quite a guy. I can tell you a lot of stories about him, but this blog is not about him, it is about the era he lived through and what his eyes must have seen and his ears must have heard. He lived to see us come out of the horse and buggy days and enter into the space age. I remember standing in his kitchen when everyone was talking about “Sputnik” and then later about “Muttnik”, the one that carried the dog. How many of you remember those first two satellites? The first Russian satellite was launched back in the year that my first and best loved car was made, 1957. No, I didn’t buy my first car until 1964, I think, and it was a ’57 Chevy Convertible. Oops, I am getting off track, so back to the main topic.

My granddad lived though a period of history where so much was changing and so much happened. For one thing there were two world wars, plus a lot of “non-world skirmishes, police actions, mini-wars, or what ever the politico at the time called them. He worked on the Pennsylvania Rail Road for most of his life and retired as an engineer on a steam locomotive. When he retired, it was at a time when there was a mix of steam engines along with those new fangled diesel engines running the rails pulling strings of cars. The advance of the automobile would have been a thing he saw. He taught me to drive a standard shift in his 1940 Ford. My cousin still has that car. You might say he lived from a time of gun powder to atomic bombs, from horse and buggy to space flights, from small country stores to super markets, etc. BTW, I even remember that little “country” store where he lived. It had cracker and pickle barrels and a pot bellied stove that heated it. It had a porch and steps where people would sit and talk. A relic from a more laid back way of life. Sort of makes me want to go back there, but that is impossible. I can physically go to the location where my grandpa lived, but my grandpa would not recognize it now. It has changed into a river side summer resort town, not the peaceful little town that I remember as kid who liked to spend his summers there.

Do you remember any of these things? Can you imagine what your grandparents saw during their life times? Just think what we have seen in our life time, but not as big of changes that our grandparents saw; that is if you are around my age.

You all have great day now, you hear?


  1. My Mothers Father I knew very well. He was born in 1890 and saw a lot of what yours did. He died when I was in sophomore in HS. He also worked for the RR.. was mail clerk on the Santa Fe run from Fort Worth. I remember him fondly and got a lot of his genes, tall,slim, full head of hair AND I got his issued Service revolver that he had to buy at that time.
    Also I have a copy of the county records that he wrote when my mother was born.
    He was ambidextrous and when he got to the middle of he ledger just switched hands and kept on writing. ( I got his desk in the other room.
    Sure wish someone would have saved his stores from that time.

  2. I remember all of them. And the same little store where my Dad's family lived.

    Our first car was a 57 chevy, 4/d hardtop,,,YES,,4 dr. That green and white.

    How much will our kids, g/kids see in their future?

  3. I remember huge changes in my lifetime, although I try not to get stuck looking into the past. Many of the changes are good, while a lot of them are not for the good of society or humanity, in my opinion. For one thing, the reliance on constant entertainment, in music, movies, television, etc., indicates a reluctance to deal with our lives and those around us in the here and now. TV sensationalizes the trivial, and ignores the really important. This is the way I see it, and I know my view is in the minority.

  4. I do remember the sputnik,and my grandparents seen much of the same changes you talk about,they were good people,and seemed to adapt pretty well. Blessings Jane

  5. Ben, it sounds like your grandad and mine would have a lot in commen to talk about.

    Trouble, I really liked that old store and the freedom we had to run around and play outdoors.

    Gypsy, I agree with you. Getting off on a road trip is what I like and I don't spend all my time watching TV but out waking around.

    Jane, our grandparents generation were great people for the most part.

  6. Yes, DD I not only remember, but like to think about those people and their lives. My father's father died when I was very young (4 yrs old) in 1953. Everyone called him Bill Cody. I think it must have described him, it was not his name. His name was William, and he lived in the time and area of Wild Bill Cody, but was not him. He lived 92 years and 2 months. His son, and my grandfather lived 82 years and 2 months and died at my house in 1979. I knew him very well because he was close with his son, my dad. I remember standing in the farm yard of my grandfather's sister's farm and watching Sputnik travel across the sky. The folks talked for hours about it and the politics of the day. I could go on about my grandfather, but-----Have a safe day.

  7. Lou, don't you wish that our grandfathers and great grandfathers had written down their life's history. Sure would have been interesting reading.