Sunday, November 15, 2009

Memory Lane 15. Everything's funnier with a putty nose.

I've been going through this backlog of old photos that my mom scanned in a few years back, and it's just bringing back this flood of memories. A glimpse of a piece of wallpaper will remind me of a whole new set of stories, or just seeing a particular bedspread that probably hasn't been around for 30 years or more, and I'm back in the house I grew up in. It's amazing, the little triggers that bring so many things back.

I hadn't forgotten about my grandfather, but maybe I'd forgotten just how very funny he was around us kids. He died just before Kelly was born, and Skip remembers very little of him, so it's just what I pass on to them that will be the canon of their 'memory' of their great-grandfather.

I couldn't go to his funeral, because I was very pregnant, and living in a different country when he passed away, but I was told about his funeral. My brother said that people remembered a number of things about his childhood, and his youth, and most folks who knew the stories of his childhood were amazed to see the gentle and fun-loving man that he turned into.

I've been reminded of his fun-loving ways, too.

It's so funny to see that photo. At this point, he hadn't yet retired, yet this photo captures the very essense of how I remembered him more than 20 years later. I lived with him and Nana the summers when I was 19 and 20. And he didn't look much different than this then. He'd ditched the tie by then, but he still wore his little metal elastic arm-garters to keep his sleeve cuffs at his wrists. He had short arms. I did not inherit that trait from him. My sleeves never managed to come all the way down to my wrists.

And everything was funny. To him, everything could be turned into a joke. I think sometimes that grated on my Nana's last nerve, which, ironically, made it just that much funnier.

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