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?