I have mentioned my Granddaddy to you before, Tracks In The Snow is where I mentioned him paying a visit to me when my son was a baby, today I thought about him and wanted to share a little bit about him with you.
Grady the son of a Civil War veteran Born in 1914, began his journey in this old world in Pickens County, SC, I see you have your calculator out trying to add the numbers up to see how his Daddy fought in the Civil War, it almost sounds like I am missing a generation you are thinking, how it works is Granddaddy was born when Wash (My Great Granddaddy) was about 64 years old and Wash served in the 4th Regiment South Carolina Calvary at the tender age of about fourteen years old, it appears young men could serve back in those days, and whether Wash’s parents had to sign a waiver or something I think is really not an issue today, but with these numbers there easily could have been another generation slipped in there.
Granddaddy also served in the military, he joined the Army Air Force and fought in both the Korean War and WW II, once he said that he was the oldest man to enlist at the time and all the other men called him Pop, he was a Staff Sergeant and a served as a cook during the Korean War, in December 1952 a radio interview with my Granddaddy was broadcast in his hometown of Easley, South Carolina, in the interview he mostly thanked everyone who had donated supplies for them to prepare Christmas dinner for the troops. A copy of this interview on LP record was sent to my Grandma by the radio station, this was a big thing in this little town for a local boy to be on the radio from overseas, this LP was later lost in a house fire, so this part of our family history is forever lost aside from the memory.
He loved to fish, and I remember driving with him up to Ute Lake in Logan, NM for a fishing trip, we fished from the bank and caught very little, not sure how serious we were about catching anything, but one thing he was serious about was the boat that continued to circle around and come in close to the shore making a huge wake that splashed everything in the water almost into our faces, Granddaddy waved to the man driving the boat and shouted that we were trying to fish, to only see him make a circle and laugh as he splashed the water upon us again, Granddaddy reeled in his line and took the hook off, I was thinking that this guy had just ran us off.
Granddaddy smiled and took the biggest lead sinker I have ever seen in my life out of his tackle box, he attached the sinker to his line and walked back toward the water, standing there pretending he was fishing he smiled and refused to move backwards as the boat came in close again, he got a splash of water all the way up the front of his pants and as the laughing idiot turned his boat away from the bank, this is when the idiot got a surprise he wasn’t expecting, the accuracy of Granddaddy’s cast put the sinker right into the back of this mans head, the sinker bounced off of his head and also from the back of the boat, we were laughing so hard Granddaddy could hardly reel his line back in, needless to say we never saw the boat again.
I listened to a lot of stories from him, everything from fighting battles during the War to the ones with his brother in law, tales of foreign places like Japan and the Philippines, the best Black Diamond watermelon and the best way to prune a fruit tree, if he ever said “Do you remember” you knew you were about to hear a long story and it was well worth your while if you took time to listen.
A lot of the memories I cherish about my Granddaddy are from his stories, but one of the funniest and most amazing was watching how accurate an elderly man can be with a fishing rod and a lead sinker, you don’t really need a deadly weapon to make a point he showed me, and if you are smart you will avoid messing with an old man who is minding his own business, I can still see him grinning.