Having recently read this story by my dad about the passing away of one of my last remaining relatives, I was reminded of the happy times I had as a child, and the wonderful grandparents and great aunts and uncles I grew up with. Although I had fond memories of all of them, I had a particular soft spot for my paternal grandfather (a title grandad would have found a bit over the top!). To me he was just “Grandad”. A wonderful man, who I still think about over thirty years after he died. As an only child I never felt I missed out on having brothers and sisters, because I grew up with Grandad. We would play together, go for walks together and enjoy the sort of relationship that most children would have with brothers and sisters. Whenever I needed a toy to play with, Grandad (who was a carpenter by profession) would trot off to his workshop and come back with some hand-crafted bat, racket or doll’s house for me to play with. Actually, ignore the doll’s house bit..I was a bit of a tomboy and it was a more likely to be a fort than an penthouse for Barbie.
Whenever I went out with Grandad, I felt like I was in the company of royalty. It would take an hour to do a ten minute walk. Wherever we went, people would come up to him and say “hello Jack”. Old people would ask him when he was going to come round and “sort out their gardens”. They treated him as though he was some young gardener even though he was probably as old or older than his clients!
We would go on huge walks, usually ending up in some some South London park which always involved watching part of a cricket match. I am still traumatised by one occasion when I decided to play by some funny stripey wooden fences and waved back at the nice men who were waving at me, only to discover I was playing by a cricket “sight board” and the nice men weren’t waving, but were actually telling me to “get the f*ck away!!”
Grandad took all of this in his stride, like he did with most things. He was the kindest, most easy-going person I have ever met. He only ever lost his temper with me once, and it was such a rare occasion I still remember it to this day. One day I was holding my doll over the edge of our stairs, threatening to drop my frightened bit of plastic onto her bonce when Grandad appeared at the foot of the stairs. “Don’t do that” he said in his usual calm, soft spoken way. For some bizarre reason I decided to let Dolly go plunging to her doom. Grandad looked at me and said very softly “you naughty girl”. I can still hear his voice now, so rare was it that this man who i idolised should come even close to raising his voice at me.
I could go on to write a whole book about my grandad, and one day I probably will go on to do so. Until that time I hope the above snippits will give you some idea of what a wonderful person he was, and what an impact he had upon shaping my life.


4 Responses to “Grandad”

  1. Terri Says:

    I really enjoyed this. And what a very special man your granddad was….such wonderful memories he left behind for you. That book needs to see the light of day.

  2. Big John Says:

    Did you have to use the photo of him when he worked for Al Capone ? 😀

  3. frisby Says:

    Thank you for your kind words Terri..if I ever find the time I will try and make the effort to write that book..even if it is only ever published online. Grandad deserves the effort!

  4. bancuri despre barbati Says:

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thank you

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